Stress suf­fer­ers urged to seek out help

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

A Ruther­glen woman who suf­fers from stress has urged oth­ers in the same boat to seek out the help they need.

Marion Ersk­ine, 74, found her life clos­ing in on her af­ter she was forced to move home a year ago.

When one of her friends died sud­denly, and an­other was taken into a home with de­men­tia, she be­came iso­lated and lonely.

Since then, Marion has taken ad­van­tage of the Re­Con­nect project at Healthy n Happy, which of­fers a life­line to vul­ner­a­ble older peo­ple who feel stressed by be­ing cut off from their com­mu­nity.

With April be­ing na­tional stress aware­ness month, Marion, who stays on King­sheath Av­enue, hopes her story will en­cour­age oth­ers to come for­ward.

“When I moved house, I felt very iso­lated,” she said. “I was very close to one friend and we had spo­ken about her com­ing to visit me in my new home, but she died very sud­denly, it came so out of the blue.

“That was very stress­ful. An­other took de­men­tia and that left me with­out any­one round about who I knew well enough to talk to.

“It was a feel­ing of be­ing up­tight all the time, 24 hours a day. It was very hard to re­lax.

“But go­ing out and into com­pany helps. The more you talk to peo­ple, the bet­ter you feel, so it’s good to have some­where to go.

“My ad­vice would be ‘go and get help.’ There are clubs and groups out there.”

Marion was put on to Re­Con­nect by her GP at Ruther­glen Pri­mary Care Cen­tre.

Healthy n Happy re­ceived £590,000 of fund­ing from the Big Lottery Fund Scot­land to run the group. They also match vol­un­teers with older peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a range of is­sues - pro­vid­ing prac­ti­cal and emo­tional sup­port to help them ac­cess new ac­tiv­i­ties and sup­port ser­vices.

The project op­er­ates in the Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang ar­eas, as well as the ad­join­ing East Kil­bride and Cly­des­dale.

Marion ad­mits she doesn’t know where she would be with­out them.

She said: “As soon as I started go­ing there I felt great.

“It has made a big dif­fer­ence to have some­where to go and chat with peo­ple who are in sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances.

“It’s also get­ting me out of the house, so I’m not sit­ting by my­self think­ing about my prob­lems.

“I only started go­ing a few months ago, so it’s been quite a short turn­around.

“They are very help­ful and have done a lot for me. It’s a real life­line and gives me some­thing to look for­ward to. It helps break things up and you’re never too old to learn new things.”

With her con­fi­dence grow­ing, Marion is now one of the key mem­bers of Re­Con­nect – wel­com­ing new mem­bers and sug­gest­ing ideas for out­ings.

She is now ac­tively look­ing at new ac­tiv­i­ties – hav­ing been matched up with a one-to-one vol­un­teer – and has re­cently joined a lo­cal knit­ting group.

The more you talk to peo­ple, the bet­ter you feel

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