A mental health charity formed in Derry almost twenty years ago has launched a brand new programme that is said to be effective in the treatment of depression and anxiety.
From this week, Aware Defeat Depression is offering ‘Mindfulness’ courses to people across Northern Ireland as a way of preventing recurring depression and treating stress and anxiety.
Mindfulness, which has its origins in ancient Buddhism, teaches participants to become aware of the present moment through non judgment and by observing the here and now.
Aware Defeat Depression’s Mindfulness expert Frank Liddy says the six-week course can alleviate depression and enable a calm, contented and compassionate way of being.
“Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to what is happening right here, right now,” explains Frank.
“It’s about bringing awareness to our thoughts and feelings, without being too judgemental on ourselves. It is a method of observing what is happening right now in the world around us. By becoming more aware of our thoughts and feelings in this way, we are preventing ourselves becoming wrapped up in them therefore making it easier for us to manage them.
“I am committed to the development of Mindfulness within Northern Ireland as a method for people managing their depression and anxiety.”
Mayor of Derry Brenda Stevenson helped the charity launch the new service at its Derry offices this week.
“These conditions can all be deeply debilitating on many levels, affecting all aspects of a person’s life, yet the resources available to sufferers and their families are still extremely limited,” she said.
“I am delighted to support the ongoing campaign to raise awareness about mental health issues such as depression, and to equip people with practical ways to take ownership of the illness and manage it in their daily lives. I would like to urge anyone suffering from depression, stress or anxiety to avail of the Mindfulness course as a new and effective tool in assisting recovery.”
Chief Executive of Aware Defeat Depression, Siobhan Doherty, says they are delighted with the addition of Mindfulness to the range of support services and education programmes they already offer.
She added: “Mindfulness practice has been shown to help prevent recurring depression and is an effective treatment for anxieties and worries and it is a great boost for us to have Northern Ireland’s leading Mindfulness expert delivering the programmes as part of our team.”
For further information on Mindfulness or Aware Defeat Depression, visit their website at www.aware-ni.org