Health and Wellbeing
Jack finds connection and support
Like many people, I have had my struggles with mental health issues. A big part of it for me has been the effects of loneliness and isolation. The pandemic made it all too easy to become withdrawn and lose touch with the world around me. Things came to a head earlier this year and I knew I had to push myself out of my comfort zone, meet new people and rediscover a sense of connection. I was aware of Tricky Hubs, from the big screens at the City Ground and adverts in the programme, and I thought – what better way of putting myself back out there than joining a mental health support group united by one of my biggest passions in life, Nottingham Forest?
I get stupidly nervous whenever I step into a new environment, and especially so when it’s a video call with people I don’t know. I needn’t have worried though. Everyone was very welcoming and I soon felt at ease. The sessions usually begin with a “check-in”, where each of us has the opportunity to talk about how our week has been, what things have been going well and what has been difficult. The other attendees are invited to give feedback and this often generates a discussion amongst the group.
The sessions are led by the Community Trust’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Claire. She does an excellent job in getting everyone involved and making sure we all take something out of attending Tricky Hubs. After the check-in there’ll be an activity. We might discuss a particular area of mental health and share ideas about how we approach them (recently we explored the topic of motivation). Mental health practitioners come in and answer our questions and share advice. And we welcome guest speakers – Helena Doughty, daughter of the late Forest Chairman Nigel Doughty, recently shared her unique Forest experience with us.
What do I value most about Tricky Hubs? Everyone has the opportunity to contribute and air their thoughts. People always listen with respect. I like the regular weekly slot on Thursday evenings, as I find routine a helpful way out of tough times mentally. Online sessions are good because they allow people who don’t live in and around Nottingham to attend. I also really enjoy the monthly face-to-face gatherings at the City Ground, because there’s nothing like a good catch-up in person. I have found that taking the time to listen to others as they share their mental health experiences has given me the confidence to offer my own words of support and advice – something I wouldn’t have thought I’d be able to do before I came to Tricky Hubs.
We would love to welcome new faces to the Tricky Hubs group. Sadly we know that there are many more people out there who face mental health challenges. I would encourage anybody in need of support to come along, have a good natter about Forest, make new friends and kick start their journey towards better mental health.
Jack, Tricky to Talk participant.