Back to business for local support group
A one-stop shop for people seeking support and advice on mental health issues has reopened following the Christmas break.
Mates 4 Mates GoldfieldsEsperance resumed its weekly support group and safe space at 24-26 Burt Street this week.
Every Wednesday from 6pm-7pm the doors are open for anyone who wants to attend a mental health support group, and from 10.30am every Friday the space is a drop-in centre for people looking for advice and support.
President Kathy Nikolaenko said Mates 4 Mates was available to anyone who was having a rough time, or knew somebody who could use a helping hand.
“On Fridays we don’t have a program, we just open up and anyone who wants to come in is more than welcome,” she said.
“We have the resources here for anyone trying to find out what is available and where to go, and we can walk beside them if needs be.”
Ms Nikolaenko said the support group nights often drew no more than five people, but they were open to anyone who needed help.
“It is not like going to a counsel- lor, we’re not counsellors,” she said.
“We don’t ask questions or hound people about what is wrong.
“We’re just there when you are ready and will listen when you need us.
“And reaching out is a big step, and it can be daunting, so we don’t pressure anyone into telling us their story . . . it’s up to you who you share it with.”
Ms Nikolaenko said she was looking for financial support to keep the shop operating in the future.
For more information, phone Ms Nikolaenko on 0430 447 785.
Mates 4 Mates Goldfields-Esperance’s Keith Cowan and Kathy Nikolaenko.