Drop in and just talk it through at Ivan’s Home

Arts cen­tre owner sets up men­tal health project named in his brother’s hon­our

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

An in­crease in the num­ber of peo­ple suf­fer­ing means that now 1 in 4 peo­ple in the UK ex­pe­ri­ence a form of men­tal health prob­lem each year.

To help tackle this prob­lem, a project has been set up at The Draw­ing Room in Che­sham to make sure peo­ple aren’t suf­fer­ing in si­lence.

Weekly walk-in meet­ings are now be­ing held with two coun­sel­lors from Wil­low Ther­apy Tring, who will lend an ear to any­one who needs it.

In­stead of one-on-one meet­ings, the com­mu­nity hub will pro­vide group sup­port – where peo­ple can have a con­fi­den­tial chat in a safe and sup­ported space – with free tea, cof­fee and cake.

Richard Elk­ing­ton, the owner of The Draw­ing Room, said its aimed at peo­ple who maybe don’t feel they have a voice or even just needs a chat in a safe en­vi­ron­ment.

“There is noth­ing so true as the wis­dom ‘a prob­lem shared is a prob­lem halved’,” he said.

“Most of us know or can re­late to how pow­er­ful our state of mind is upon our hap­pi­ness and well-be­ing – hav­ing some­one to talk to, to share the bur­den, the lone­li­ness or iso­la­tion, can help im­mensely.

“The very act of shar­ing and ex­press­ing one’s pain pushes it out and it has its own cathar­tic, heal­ing ef­fect.

“Get­ting help sooner rather than later is so im­por­tant; there is of­ten a de­lay in get­ting help – coun­selling is of­ten months away and it can feel a bleak, lonely space to be in.”

The new project, en­ti­tled ‘Ivan’s Home’, is named af­ter Richard’s late brother – who en­vi­sioned the idea with Richard be­fore he trag­i­cally died in a train ac­ci­dent.

Af­ter suf­fer­ing from a 30-year ad­dic­tion, Ivan moved into The Draw­ing Room and within six months he had got clean and be­came a coun­sel­lor.

“Hav­ing been close to death on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, saved by the love and com­pas­sion of oth­ers – of­ten strangers – com­pas­sion, ac­cep­tance and un­der­stand­ing was some­thing he com­pletely un­der­stood,” Richard said.

“This made him all the more able to be the ear and voice of wis­dom peo­ple needed to hear.

“He was as gen­er­ous as any­one I’ve known.”

The Draw­ing Room Gallery and arts space in Che­sham will host Ivan’s Home, a walk-in sup­port hub

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