On January 16th 2018, Damian Graham took his life – an unnecessary death at the hands of mental health and drugs. Damian struggled with addiction and mental health for over 8 years.
Damian had dedicated his life to helping and lifting up those around him and in 2016, after almost 12 months of being sober, enrolled at University of Central Lancashire to become a secondary school teacher of English. In whatever way he could and usually at the detriment to himself, he would put everyone else’s needs before his own.
In March of 2019, in his honour and over a year after his death, Rise & Shine Lancashire was created. Our primary aim is to provide a way for local people to get together and openly discuss the issues that my be causing them distress, including those that are particular to Lancashire.
A safe confidential place for people to come together to give and receive support.
Our peer support groups are open to everyone and provide emotional support and social interaction. Everyone’s experiences are treated as equally important and no-one is more of an expert than anyone else.
Whether you want to come just to listen, or to be part of the conversation, there’s a warm seat and a cup of tea for you at each session.
Current support groups are based in Preston and Blackburn, with more opening throughout 2022.
My name is Adam and I’m a secondary school teacher in Lancashire. Having moved to London at a young age for university, I found myself struggling with anxiety, loneliness and struggled mentally and never knew how to voice these thoughts or feelings. Through this group I want to use my own experiences and help others talk openly and honestly about their mental health and life experience.
Hi, my name is Tracy. I am 50 years old, I have been married for 20 years. I have 6 children and 6 grandchildren. This group is very important to me as I lost my son to suicide through depression. I felt that my son did not receive much support and there still is not much support for depression and mental health. This group will help people to talk more freely about this and hopefully help someone that is in need.
Hello, my name is Nicola. I am married with two children. I have worked in education for over a decade now and currently teach at a primary school in Lancashire. Throughout my life, I have been through many different experiences that has affected me and made me grow in many different ways. Then in 2018, I lost my brother Damian through depression that resulted in suicide. This was the biggest shock of all, he was the most kindest person and felt so proud to have had him as my big brother. Losing him made me realise that I didn’t want anyone else to feel alone if I could help it. Through our group, I want people to be able to talk freely about how they feel and never feel they have to put on a brave face.
Hello, My name is Andrew. I currently work in public services and through this I have gained a vast knowledge and experience of the difficulties surrounding mental health and wellbeing. Having worked in Liverpool and now in Lancashire, I have been made aware of the unique circumstances that the people of this county go through. From supporting my partner through the sudden loss of his brother, I have gained a passion of doing more to help others that are in need of support and trying to get others to talk about mental health and wellbeing.
Hi, my name is Sarah. I am 41 years old from Blackburn. I have 5 children, 4 girls and 1 boy. I have been married for 15 years. Throughout my life I have suffered with anxiety and depression, this has been going on for over 20 years. Through this, it led to drug addiction but I have been clean now for 8 years. I want to share my story so that those who are struggling can feel empowered to share theirs. This group is special to me for so many reasons but most of all it is because it is in memory of a very talented young man who lost his battle to depression.
Okay, here goes. This post is mostly about my story and what I go through almost everyday. What I do to get through it and what i’ve done in the past to get to where I am today. A somewhat mentally stable, YOUNG professional human. I don’t have life figured out and I’m in no […]
I’ve always felt well balanced. Aside from a few days here and there (which we have all had) I felt considerably lucky to never have an issue with my mental health. Then I got the best job in the world, I became a parent to 3 beautiful children. It was hectic from the get go […]