New mental health group ‘to fill gap’ left by NHS

Sarah Heiermann who is starting a depression support group. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Sarah Heiermann who is starting a depression support group. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

A support group for people struggling with depression and anxiety has launched, and the woman behind it hopes to ‘fill a gap’ in North Somerset’s mental health services.

Congresbury’s Sarah Heiermann has launched Flow, a volunteer-led peer support group hoping to help people suffering with mental health issues.

Conversely to most support services, the group is led by people with personal experience of mental health struggles, rather than medical professionals, in a bid to make a more comfortable environment.

The group – which is free to attend – is based at Congresbury Methodist Hall, in High Street, and meets on Wednesdays from 10-11am, allowing people to discuss their problems and feelings in a relaxed and informal forum.

Sarah, who hopes to make a difference for vulnerable people having faced her own battles with her mental health, feels the group is plugging a gap in support services in North Somerset.

She said: “I have suffered from depression for years.

“Flow has no affiliation with or direct support from any other organisation.

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“This is a new group, helping to fill a gap in mental health provision in North Somerset.

“Flow has already formed links with other support networks in the area to inform them of what Flow has to offer, and vice versa.”

NHS research shows approximately one in four people suffer from mental health problems each year, while one in six can suffer from depression or anxiety in any given week.

Sarah hopes the new group can help people open up and talk about their feelings, even if they have not been diagnosed by a doctor, or they are a friend or relative of someone who is struggling with their mental health.

She added: “It’s hard to socialise when you are feeling low.

“Any social interaction can be very tiring.

“It’s also hard if you feel like you won’t be able to make conversation, or you might burst into tears.

“I would like Flow to be a place where people will understand and welcome you, and you will feel comfortable to come, even on the bad days.”

For more information about the group, call 07801 072747 or alternatively email