Stress sufferers urged to seek out help
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