Local man inspired to set up Facebook group to support people with their mental health
Cleethorpes man Karl Degruchy, 27, has set up a Facebook group to provide support and guidance for men and women in North East Lincolnshire who are struggling with mental health or addiction issues.
In a 24-hour period, at least one member of the eight-person team who manages the group are on hand to approve posts and provide support for anyone who needs it.
So far, over 800 people have joined the group, called ‘Let’s Talk About It’.
Karl said: “I started the group because when I was in my darkest hour I had nowhere to turn. I shared my story on Facebook about what I was going through and where I wanted to be, and having that support and love from all of them motivated me to stay on the right path.
“I wanted to give others an outlet and a place they can come to share their story and also receive support and love. I wanted to make it very clear that it was their group, like a family and community.”
Karl has several goals for the group that him and his team are working towards, including working with charity organisations, reaching 1,000 members and organising in-person activities such as fundraising events, days out to the beach, walks and picnics.
Other volunteers who manage the group are Lawrence Pargeter, 25, Amber Martin, 23, Samantha Jayne, 27, Shauna May, 28, Tre Hiles, 24, and Joshua Fytche, 27.
“We just want to help people as much as possible. We are all been and are still going through what everyone else is. It’s going to take time to get back to feeling okay. Let’s break the stigma of mental health and how people look at it. It’s a real issue that kills many and until groups like ours reach out to as many as possible, we will tragically keep losing these poor souls.
“The experience so far has been emotional, rewarding and encouraging to see others reaching out for help. It’s purely overwhelming to see how many people needed that support network. Me and the team have had countless messages. We’ve become one big family and it helps us to help them.
“The group really has been a blessing for me and all involved, and I feel so excited for what more we can do to help. We post all of the different helplines and crisis teams in case of emergencies, as we know we are not professionals. We are just people who have experienced the same struggles.”
The group can be found here.
If you are struggling with your mental health, the Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123.