Martyn’s Monday Club doubles meetings to cope with demand

Des MacMillan from Martyn's Monday Club with the fliers offering support

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Martyn’s Monday Club has doubled its sessions to meet a rise in demand for help.

The mental health peer-to-peer support group is also planning a flier drop through letterboxes soon to reach even more people who might need its support during the pandemic.

The flier idea was just one of many suggestions that sprung from a recent Zoom consultation across the community looking for new ways of spreading word about its work as Covid restrictions take their toll.

MMC’s Lorraine King said: ‘We are getting increasingly worried about people’s mental health and wellbeing the longer the pandemic and the lockdown goes on. We want the community to know that we are still here for them and we are still open for face-to-face meetings in our own premises with the support of the Scottish Government and their directive to allow mental health groups like ours to keep running, offering help to people during these difficult times. We have doubled our weekly meetings over the past few months to meet the increased need for support from the community.’

MMC’s men’s group still meets on Mondays  7pm-9pm in the group’s own premises at 1 Breadalbane Street. There is also a Zoom meeting on Monday nights at the same times for men who are shielding or having to isolate, and Fridays see an informal get together over a cuppa from 3pm to 5pm for men to pop in and see a friendly face.

The women’s group still runs every Tuesday night in Breadalbane Street from 7pm-9pm and there is a Sunday drop-in from 2pm-4pm for women to call in for a chat.

‘When we meet in our premises we follow strict guidelines of sanitising hands, wearing face masks and track and trace to ensure everyone remains safe whilst they attend.

‘We are keen to emphasise that we are a peer support mental health group. We are not professionals. We run by sharing our own stories about our lives. This can be very powerful as people can identify with similar things that they have been through in their lives which can make them realise they are not alone. We are all there to help each other,’ said Lorraine.

And she added: ‘Everyone is welcome at MMC, we will not judge you or be shocked by your story, we all have stories to tell. We truly believe in the saying that a problem shared is a problem halved, and many of our members find that just coming along and listening to others helps them feel they are not losing the plot and that they are not alone.

‘We have lots more plans for 2021, we’re just waiting for the restrictions to ease off and then we can get back on with them. We recently consulted the whole community over a Zoom meeting and we got some great suggestions from people that we are working on.

‘One of the suggestions was to send a flier round every house in Oban to let people know we are still here for the community. Watch out for this coming through your letterbox soon. We want people to reach out to us, to not suffer in silence and to know that life does and will get better. There’s no pressure to talk at our meetings either, you can just come along and listen and enjoy the company. Our motto is #itsgoodtotalk and we believe that during these difficult times talking is more needed than ever to get us all through it.’

People can contact MMC through its Facebook pages or on Twitter @MMCClubs or through our website at martynsmondayclub.org.uk

Caption: Des MacMillan from Martyn’s Monday Club with the fliers offering support
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