Extern News Free online talks to tackle darkest days for people living in Mid-Ulster area Date posted: October 7, 2021 Extern and Turning Point NI are joining forces to offer a series of free online talks this Autumn for people living in the Mid-Ulster area who may be coping with poor mental health, problem gambling or loss. Extern and Turning Point NI jointly run the Feel Better project, which offers free online and face-to-face counselling to those who may experiencing issues such as anxiety, increased worry or poor mental health, especially for the first time. The service is open to anyone aged 18-plus living within the Northern Health and Social Care Trust area. Over the next three months, the project will be offering a range of free online talks aimed at offering information and advice on mental health and wellbeing, problem gambling and loss or bereavement. The series begins on Monday, October 18th, with Why Mental Health Matters, which will cover key areas including promoting sleep hygiene, positive habit formation and steps to wellbeing. This will be followed on Monday, November 8th by Keeping Problem Gambling in the Past, which will be hosted by Tony O’Reilly, a former postmaster from Co Carlow, who has written and spoken extensively about his own experiences of the issue. And on Monday, December 6th, How to Live with Loss will offer advice and guidance on coping with the impact of various forms of loss, including bereavement. Sessions will begin at 7pm and last for one hour, with the opportunity for further discussion and information-sharing afterwards. Free tickets for each event can be reserved by visiting https://www.extern.org/sign-up-to-our-free-online-talks Extern project manager Barry Grant, who is organising the webinars, said: “As Autumn moves in, and the days shorten, it can be difficult to keep up with the positive steps taken over the summer months. It has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone, and yet many people are reluctant to reach out for advice or support. “These online sessions offer a relaxed, non-judgmental forum for people to learn how to cope with whatever may be challenging their mental health or general wellbeing. We will be offering the opportunity, if they wish, to share their own experiences and hear from others in similar situations. Of, if they wish to remain anonymous throughout, they can do so too. “Places for each sessions are limited, so we would encourage anyone interested to sign up as soon as possible to secure their place.” Trudi Power from Turning Point NI said: “These webinars are a great opportunity for those individuals who may never have engaged in counselling or have never experienced issues such as these to participate and learn about themselves and how to manage feelings of anxiety and worry by empowering them to develop new coping strategies.” Launched in April 2021, the Feel Better project has been made possible thanks to a £96,755 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund. The service offers online confidential counselling sessions, both group and one-to-one, and signposting to other services which may be more suitable to meet the needs of the individual. The service is particularly keen to hear from those living in isolated or rural areas. If you need help or want to find out more, please contact a member of the Feel Better team by Whatsapp/text at 07401 278 169 or tel: 028 9592 4664.