Chorley woman organises Mental Health Mates Walks for those in need of a chat
With the struggles and stress of every day life placing our mental health at risk, 33 year-old Siobhan Jackson has decided to ease the pressure by organising walks around Yarrow Valley Park in Chorley for anyone needing an outlet.
The walks, which she wants to make community-orientated and accessible for everyone, will take place on the first Saturday of every month from 1pm.
Explaining how she became a walk leader for Mental Health Matters, Siobhan who used to be a language teacher before quitting due to stress, bravely opened up about her own mental health battle.
“I love teaching but there was too much pressure involved. Being with the teenagers was the smallest part of the job as not enough hours of the day were dedicated to the classroom.
“I suffered with my own mental health and started to get really poorly. I realised drinking wasn’t helping my cause so gave it up a year and two months ago.
“The change in my mindset since has been incredible.”
Other coping mechanisms which helped her was reading Glorious Rock Bottom by journalist and mental health campaigner Bryony Gordon. The book shines a light on the deep connection between addiction and mental health issues.
"I also read her other book No Such Thing As Normal a few months ago about coping strategies for mental health, which I have lent out to a lot of people."
Explaining social media doesn’t help people’s mental health but rather hinders it, she continued: “You need to have an off switch. Walking has so many benefits. It essentially connecting back to nature. We are made to move.”
Siobhan also credits yoga for keeping her in a good place and runs a free Yoga Book Club and teaches Pause – a deeply relaxing class combing two different, very meditative styles of yoga on Friday mornings from 11am.