Macclesfield Town
Posted:Mon 10 May 2021

Wrexham AFC are proud to be supporting Mental Health Awareness Week, which takes place this week from May 10 to May 16. Here, Dragon Chat founder and one of this season’s Vanarama National League volunteers of the month, Steve Lloyd, outlines this year’s key themes – connecting with nature – and how you can take part.

Dragon Chat, Wrexham AFC’s men’s mental health peer support group, runs every Thursday night at 7pm. For more information, you can follow Dragon Chat on Twitter or email [email protected].

If you require urgent mental health help, please see the resources at the bottom of this page.

The last 14 months have been challenging for many people with everyone having to adapt to a new way of living and generally not being able to participate in the activities we used to take for granted.

I have missed attending football games so much in the last 14 months but also the social aspects of the meeting up with my family and friends before and after the game and just discussing everything Wrexham AFC.

I have also missed the camaraderie of being with fellow Wrexham AFC supporters at the grounds all across the country and the special feeling when we score a last-minute winner. I am not going to lie, I'd even take watching a 3-0 away defeat at the present time just to feel the sense of belonging again and to reconnect fully with the club and players.

Today sees the start of Mental Health Awareness Week with this year’s theme being connecting with nature. Wrexham AFC wants everyone to feel as mentally healthy as possible and over the course of the week we will be sharing some resources on how we can keep ourselves mentally healthy.

There will also be some videos of what Wrexham AFC offer as a club in the way of mental health support at present. 

Connecting with nature may not be as easy as it sounds for some people although we are blessed with some fantastic country parks in Wrexham and North Wales as well as the coast being just a short distance away.

All of these allow us to experience being in nature and really help ourselves keep mentally fit. Should you go out for a walk in a country park take five minutes and use all your senses to really connect and relax in your surroundings. Just stand still, try to empty your minds of your everyday thoughts and focus on what you can see, hear and smell.

You don't need to be in a country park to do this, you could be in your garden or back yard. If you are unable to get outside and wish to connect with nature you could watch documentary programmes or films to allow you to experience the wonder of nature. 

To end Mental Health Awareness Week, Dragon Chat will be holding a mindful walk on Sunday May 16, at Moss Valley Country Park, starting at 10am.

The route starts from the fishing lake and is approximately two miles in distance, including one steady incline. During the walk participants will be encouraged to connect and listen to the nature around them and also their own body movement.

All participants will take part at their own risk and current Welsh Government guidelines will be followed throughout the walk. 

Here is some other helpful advice and how these five helpful steps could assist with our general well-being.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing

* Connect - Laugh together, support each other, play a game, use social media to video chat, share positive experiences.

* Be active - Go for a walk within the recommended guidelines, do some gardening, walk up the stairs, dance in your living room, yoga.

* Learn - Watch a documentary, follow a recipe, learn a daily new fact, listen to someone talking about their passion for a particular subject.

* Give - Share ideas, share advice, share knowledge, make a loved one a cuppa, call someone on the phone.

* Take notice - Be aware of the present moment, take note of what you can see, touch, hear, smell and taste. Take notice of when you are not feeling ok and use the opportunity to connect, get active, learn or give and help you to feel that bit better.

Should you have concerns for your mental health or feel as though you require more urgent help please see the following advice. 

Urgent Help

* In cases of emergency where risk is imminent call 999.

* If any person has taken an overdose they need to be taken to nearest District General Hospital immediately for treatment, (if required).

* If a person has self-harm and the injury requires medical treatment go to the appropriate medical setting (G.P, Minor Injury Unit or Accident &Emergency Department) depending on the injury.

* If a person expresses suicidal thoughts and goes missing, call the Police on 999 or 101 and report what has happened. Make sure you tell the Police about any previous overdoses, suicidal ideation or destructive behaviour that has caused injuries.

* C.A.L.L helpline 0800 132 737

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