Supporting our Crowdfunding Campaign

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EACH year, hundreds of people in the North West take their own lives.

Yet mental health remains the poor relation when it comes to health funding.

People’s natural impulse to fill this gap in local services has led to charities taking on much of the responsibility for helping people who are suffering with poor mental health and on the brink of suicide.

Mersey Counselling and Therapy Centre, a charity based in New Brighton, was set up in 2011 to help people in the grip of real pain and distress through their mental illness.

The centre’s professional counsellors and therapists work with people suffering from depression, anxiety, bereavement, addiction, and suicidal thoughts.

Their founding philosophy was that everyone who needs help should have it, no matter what their ability to pay. And that’s the basis they’ve been operating on for six years.

But keeping their doors open costs money, and the centre has to work incredibly hard to raise this money.

The centre has launched a crowdfunding appeal to help them continue this vital work for our community.

They’re calling their campaign “Pain is real but so is hope.”

The appeal will fund at least 1,000 hours of counselling throughout 2017.

They’ll also continue their unique suicide prevention scheme which offers every client at risk of taking their own life 24-hour access to their own therapists, for 365 days of the year.

If you would like to support MCTC’s campaign, might you please contact Angela O’Connor on 0151 639 0400 or angela@mctcwirral.org.uk?

Please help if you can so more people can get help and support.

PAIN IS REAL BUT SO IS HOPE – Please Help MCTC to provide HOPE.

See our Crowdfunding campaign

Original Article - Wirral News
Original Article – Wirral News

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Ella’s Story

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I When I went to uni, I decided to go as far away from home as I could get cos things weren’t great at home. I got in on clearing cos my results weren’t great, and to be honest, I didn’t really care what course I did as long as I got away.

I kind of thought I’d make loads of new friends straight away but it was really hard. Even though it was tough at home, I started to miss my parents and my two brothers. I felt guilty for leaving them behind too.

I made a few friends in the end. We went out drinking every weekend and most nights too. I started missing lectures and basically never leaving my room – I was either pissed or hung over most of the time.

I kept getting emails from my tutors but I just ignored them and in the end I dropped out.

I couldn’t go home cos I didn’t want to tell my family. I had no money and nowhere to live – started sleeping on friends’ sofas and floors and sometimes I was even sleeping rough. I got mugged doing that one night.

I thought that was about as low as I could get.

Then, to cut a long story short, I accidentally bumped into a mate who had been a year or so ahead of me at uni. She said she could get me a job – I’m really embarrassed about this now – as a sex worker. It was phone sex at first and at last I had some money in my pocket – though not for long as I was still drinking a lot. Then she told me I could earn a lot more ‘on the job’. I was really nervous and hated it from the start but I stuck at it – alcohol got me through most of it and I’d started using by then as well.

Then, one night, after being beaten up yet again, I decided enough was enough. I took a load of pills and a bottle of vodka and woke up in hospital.

After all the tests and stuff, one of the nurses gave me a card for MCTC and then they sent me home.

Another all time low.

I didn’t know what I wanted but I knew I had to change. I wanted to see my family again but I didn’t know how and I wanted a proper life.

I sat for ages looking at the card. Then, I thought it must work for somebody… maybe even me.

I got an appointment really quickly and started seeing my counsellor every week. I was afraid to tell her my story because she seemed so nice – I didn’t think she’d understand. But she wasn’t shocked or anything. She even gave me her number to call any time if I felt suicidal again – like the Samaritans or something – only I’d be talking to someone I actually knew and who knew me. She asked me to agree that I’d call her before doing anything silly. I did call her one night and kind of felt better afterwards – like, for once in my life I’d kept my promise. Then the appointments carried on and I’m still seeing her now – 7 months on. I’ve still got a long way to go but at least I know what I want now. I’ve been in touch with my family and I really want to work with animals – properly – I’ve been looking at courses and getting experience.

I’m so glad I made the decision to go to counselling at MCTC – it’s really helped me.

I saw the crowdfunding campaign PAIN IS REAL BUT SO IS HOPE and that really summed it up for me. That’s why I’m telling my story now – to try and give something back.

Please help if you can so more people like me can get help and support.

PAIN IS REAL BUT SO IS HOPE – Please Help MCTC to provide HOPE.

See our Crowdfunding campaign

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Dave’s Story

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I thought my life was going ok really. It wasn’t perfect but then whose is?

I’m nearly 40 and been a teacher for 15 years. I really enjoy my job, at least I used to – recently, there’s been a lot of pressure. The school I’m at got Requires Improvement at our last Ofsted so there’s been lots of paper work and all our jobs are at risk and there are a lot of staff off with stress at the moment. I never thought I would be one of them but I found myself taking the odd day off saying I had a stomach bug or whatever but really, I just didn’t want to go in and face all the negativity.

At home, things started to deteriorate too. My wife wasn’t happy about the amount of time I was spending on school work in the evenings. She said I wasn’t spending enough time with her and the kids. That kind of upset me because I always prided myself on being a good dad. Then I realised I’d missed several of their school and sports events and I was snapping at them. On the days when I went into school I was leaving the house at 7.00 and not getting back till about 7.00 in the evening.

I was spending so much time at school that I got friendly with one of the other teachers. We were working on a project together and spent a lot of time alone. I’m not proud of myself but one thing led to another and I started seeing her out of school. Of course, my wife found out and gave me an ultimatum, one last chance.

That was a real wake-up call. I love her so much and I didn’t want to lose her. I decided I needed some help – I had advised a couple of colleagues to get counselling in the past but it never even crossed my mind that I might need it someday.

In a weird coincidence, I picked up a card for MCTC at my doctor’s surgery. I was in to pick up a prescription for one of the kids and it was on the counter. I was quite relieved because I didn’t really want to talk to the doctor – her kids go to my school.

I got an introductory appointment within a week and although I had to wait a few weeks to be allocated a counsellor, it felt like the ball was rolling.

I’ve had a few sessions now and I think I am beginning to make progress. I thought my counsellor would be really disapproving but she didn’t judge me at all – she seemed more interested in helping me understand how I had got to the state I was in and now I am beginning to think about things I need to change.

I actually really like going to the Centre. It’s not like going to a clinic or anything. The rooms are big and comfortable with armchairs and everyone is really welcoming and kind.

When I’ve finished my counselling, I am going to try and do some fundraising for MCTC. I’ve always wanted to run a marathon so I might try and train for one next year.

PAIN IS REAL BUT SO IS HOPE – Please Help MCTC to provide HOPE.

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Sue’s Story

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“And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood
that was hollowed with knives?” – Khalil Gibran

The two years I spent healing with MCTC’s help meant the most painful time of my life also became the most joyful.

I can hardly remember what was said in my first few sessions there, such was the intensity of shock after being raped, but I do remember feeling warmth and safety around me, and I gradually started to relax. I felt safe enough to give my body the space I needed to heal.

Whenever I walked through the doors of MCTC I felt that I was coming home. I was stepping into an environment where I could be totally myself and I had an instant sense of belonging. I was held respectfully and gently by the other people there, and there was an ease about how pain was carried: it was all ok. All of me was ok.

Through the quality of my personal therapy, the Breath of Life workshops, Creative Practices, and other groups, I do not feel I simply healed from my trauma: I flourished.

PAIN IS REAL BUT SO IS HOPE – Please Help MCTC to provide HOPE.

See our Crowdfunding campaign

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Brett’s Story

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I was sexually abused by my cousin and then later by two older men, so called friends of the family. I never told anyone. I thought it was my fault – I should have stopped them.

I had been to counselling before but there was only a few sessions and I just couldn’t bring myself to tell them.

I went to MCTC because my girlfriend said I needed help. Our relationship was suffering cos I kept having flashbacks and I couldn’t trust her, even though I really loved her. I also started drinking so I didn’t have to think about it.

I think it was my third session before I actually told my counsellor what had happened to me. I was so ashamed and embarrassed – I thought she would be disgusted with me but she was calm and told me that it was my abusers who should be ashamed, not me. That was my first glimmer of hope.

It took a long time – I went every week for more than a year – but, when my sessions finished, I felt like a different person. My counsellor supported me every step of the way until I was ready to go it alone.

I hardly drink at all now and my girlfriend and me are getting married next year.

PAIN IS REAL BUT SO IS HOPE – Please Help MCTC to provide HOPE.

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Bill’s Story

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I decided to go to MCTC because it’s been hard to know how I really feel about things. I know I worried a lot and kept to myself. The loneliness was getting worse and a neighbour told me about the centre and helped me to set up an appointment.  I could never talk easily to people so art therapy was offered. I liked the idea of making something rather than talking.

The therapist was friendly and helped me to get started because I hadn’t drawn or painted much since my schooldays. I was a bit worried about getting things wrong or making a mess.

As time passed, I really looked forward to the sessions. I liked painting, using different colours, making clay models and even making messy art. It helped me to understand it’s ok to feel angry and frustrated sometimes. I could talk better this way. I suppose I felt safe.

The sessions also made me see things in a different light and that some things that happened to me as a child were not my fault. This helped a lot. I started to speak up for myself more instead of thinking I was wrong all the time.

I have met some new friends and I am coping better because I don’t bottle things up quite as much as I did and I get myself out more.

PAIN IS REAL BUT SO IS HOPE – Please Help MCTC to provide HOPE.

See our Crowdfunding campaign

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