‘Second Thoughts East Yorkshire’ (STEY) has been awarded a £9,970 grant from the Big Lottery ‘Community Fund’.

Based in Barmby Moor, STEY’s aim is to promote good mental health for people living in the East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull. The charity has no fixed training room, but responding to need, it hires venue across East Yorkshire so that people living in the suburbs and rural areas can access support near their home.

Supporting people with mental health problems and their carers, the charity delivers life skill support workshops including confidence building, assertive communication, anxiety management, skill awareness and effective communication. The sessions run over 4 weeks for around 3 hours per week and all of the workshops are free to participants.

STEY has already run many sets of workshops in Hull, Willerby, Anlaby, Hessle, Beverley, Driffield, Goole, Pocklington, Hornsea and Withernsea and with this grant, from 1st April 2019 we can continue to deliver many more all across the county. A set has started in Beverley, with more arranged to start in Pocklington and Hornsea within the next month.

As well as supporting people managing mental health issues ranging from mild anxiety to depression to more enduring conditions, STEY also works with the carers of people managing their mental health problems and with employers too.

Through supporting employers with mental health awareness and advice on effective management in this area, STEY helps employees to retain their jobs and so avoid long periods of absence and subsequent reduction in quality of life. The charity has delivered a full day of workshops to a global company based in Pocklington, a half day workshop to a regional charity and workshops for several local organisations.

Supported by two other colleagues, the charity was formed by Greg Harman B.A. (Hons 1st class), who has worked in mental health for 20 years. The lead trainer, Julie Hastings, has also worked in mental health for 20 years and she has significant experience in project development and delivery.

Greg Harman, the Chair of the charity said

There is often little support for people struggling to maintain positive mental health in many parts of our region and we aim to provide that much needed help for local people. Thanks to the amazing generosity of the ‘Community Fund’ in awarding us this grant, we can continue to build our support service.

My own qualifications are in mental health, psychology and sociology but much more important than that is our collective practical experience in this area. STEY is not here to replace medical support, or to provide alternative counselling, although we do give occasional introductory one to one support to people for whom even small groups are too much of a challenge, with the aim of them joining a workshop a little later. Indeed we add to existing service provision through small group work using talking therapies including elements of cognitive behavioural therapy and other methods such as Solution focussed Therapy and Mindfulness. It really is important to talk about issues and to see that you are not alone and that people do care

Group Trainer Julie Hastings said

A lot of people go for months or even years without seeking any help at all. We arrange small groups of people and we talk openly about things like how to boost your confidence, how to be more self-assured and how to manage panic attacks for example. It is really informal and welcoming and free of charge. We can even refund bus fares for people to come along and join us

In addition to the workshops, the charity also has a minibus which it uses to pick people up who live rurally to take them through to activities including gardening and woodwork.
Second Thoughts East Yorkshire is a small charity, and would welcome applications from volunteers who could help us with group activities and occasional driving.

Individual people can self-refer to the charity by emailing stey2015@outlook.com or telephoning us on 07716 839452.