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Circles of support for people living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Posted on the 10th September 2015

A peer support group in East Lancashire available for anyone living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) invites you to come along and says don’t suffer in silence!

‘Circles’ is a support group supported by the East Lancashire Community Restart Team at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust for people living with OCD. The group which meets fortnightly in Stacksteads offers a supportive, non-judgmental environment to talk about living with OCD, sharing coping strategies and learning more about the condition to help understand it. Each group is open to everyone including family, friends or carers of those living with OCD.

Sue, from East Lancashire, has been living with OCD since childhood and has been in touch with the Trust’s Community Restart Team for three years now following a traumatic time in her life when her OCD tendencies were increasing. Sue explains:

"I always remember living with OCD and there have been times when OCD has dominated my life, when I retired my OCD became intense and I knew it was time to take action. I visited my GP and he put me in touch with the Lancashire Restart Team and an excellent support worker called Barbara Pearson.

"What can I say about Barbara? She has been instrumental in my recovery, living with OCD is a lifelong condition, but it can be managed. Barbara started by coming to my home and getting to know me before encouraging me to get back out into the community. I don’t drive so Barbara’s help navigating public transport was so important, she helped me get involved in local community groups, recommending and coming along to Tai Chi, a local knitting group and researching activates in the local area including potential volunteering opportunities. I completed a Mindfulness course and a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course which I found so beneficial, they helped me understand the condition and why it affects me the way it does. These experiences have given me strategies to deal with my intrusive thoughts and I now feel more equipped to deal with them in an effective way.

"Over time I could feel my mood changing; I started doing more things, and became more confident. Simultaneously the Restart Team set up the support group, Barbara got in touch with me about it and we attending it together. The group has now been running for two years and is open to family members, friends and carers; one thing that has struck me whilst living with OCD is the impact it can have on those around you.

"I have lived in many areas of the country in my life and Lancashire has offered me the most in way of help and support. I have felt like I have always had someone here to listen to me and can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I work at managing my condition every day and have a cleaning routine in place so no longer spend hours and hours doing it, I couldn’t have done any of this without the team at the Trust and they have all been so supportive. I would encourage anyone who is suffering in silence to come along to our group, you’re not alone and together we can help each other."

Elaine Butt, Coordinator for the Service User Development Team who started the group said:

"We are really pleased to be able to help people like Sue and it is over whelming to hear about what a positive impact the work we do has had on her life. It’s a great example of the help that is available for those that need it and we continue to spread the word about the service and encourage anyone living with the condition to get in touch and join the group."

The team can be contacted on 01282 657273 for further details and the full address can be found below.

Greenvale Homes Community Room
Glen Crescent
Stacksteads
Rossendale
OL13 0NP

The Trust also supports two other groups in East Lancashire, one in Blackburn and the other in Darwen, both take place monthly and can be contacted on 01254 226030.

First Thursday of every Month – 1pm to 2pm
Your Support Your Choice
9a Town Hall Street
Blackburn
Lancashire
BB2 1AG

Third Thursday of every month – 1pm to 2pm
Café Hub
3 Foundry Street
Darwen
BB2 1QP