Q. What is BIG?
A. BIG stands for Bury Involvement Group in Mental Health. It is a non-profit user-led organisation serving the group members and service users of the community. BIG consists of group members who have gathered together to discuss issues in mental health, and are able to communicate these issues to influence other service developments.
Q. What is incorporated with BIG?
A. BIG has four main sectors, BIG in Anxiety, BIG in Social, BIG DROP-IN and BIG in Recovery. Each one provides its own service that helps those suffered or suffering from mental health issues to bring their opinion forward and to attend meetings that are designed to help them individually as well as in a group.
Q. What are the aims of BIG?
A. Our aims are firstly to bring mental health awareness to the community and secondly we aim to make improvements within the mental health sector by listening to independent voices of service users. Our final aim is to signpost service users to relevant people, groups and services in order to help them.
Q. Who can benefit from BIG?
A. We are open to those who are experiencing mental health issues. If you have a voice in the way the mental health services run or if you need guidance where to turn in order to help you with issues then BIG is here for you.
Q. What is BIG in Recovery?
A. BIG in RECOVERY is for adults in the Bury area who are experiencing emotional distress or any type of mental illness. At BIG you have the opportunity to meet new people and make friends, gaining support and giving support to others. The group enables you to learn about mental health, improving your knowledge and understanding. We meet every Tuesday evening at 6.15pm – 8.15pm at the Bury United Reformed Church on Parsons Lane, Bury . Consultant Psychiatrists from Fairfield General Hospital attend to discuss mental health topics and provide their support. We provide a welcoming, safe environment where we enjoy sharing our experiences, supporting one another and providing a successful journey of recovery. We appreciate the help of consultant psychiatrists from fairfield hospital who take out there time to give advice and guidance within mental health. Many service users have found this very benefitial.
Q. What is BIG in anxiety?
A. At one time in our lives we experience anxiety but some suffer at a more extreme level that can affect their lifestyle and health. The exact cause of anxiety is not fully known, but may be genetics, the brain chemistry or environmental factors.There are many reactions to anxiety disorders. Physically you may feel muscle weakness, palpitations, nausea and an increased heart rate. BIG provides a meeting that runs every fortnight. Present at these meetings are consultant psychiatrists, other charity organisations like samaritans , service users and it is facilitated by the group leader Matthew Coleclough. Here you will be guided as to what anxiety is and how we can help you. The BIG in anxiety meetings run every two weeks on Monday evening at 6.30pm – 8.30pm at Wolstenholme House, 4 Tenterden Street, Bury. All are welcome and we look forward to educating and helping you.
Q. How can I get involved?
A. Whether you are a service user of mental health or are a carer of someone who has mental health issues then you can get involved. BIG is constantly searching for volunteers and supporters to help. We are constantly looking for volunteers who have something to offer to BIG as a group member.
Q. Do I have to pay to attend the groups?
A. No, there is no charge. We provide tea / coffee and we do appreciate it if people can give a voluntary donation to cover the cost of this.
Q. Will I have to speak?
A. No, you will not be under any pressure to say anything unless you want to.
Q. What does “service user” mean?
A. It means somebody who uses mental health services for their illness. For example, some people may see their GP ( Primary Care), or attend hospital as an outpatient or inpatient (Secondary Care).
Q. Can I come to the groups even if I do not have a psychiatrist or a mental health worker?
A. Yes, you do not need to be seeing a professional or be on medication in order to come to the groups. If you are suffering from any emotional distress or if you have any mental health problem, whether mild or severe, you are very welcome to attend.
Q. Can I bring somebody with me?
A. The groups are for people with mental health problems. However, if somebody needs a support worker or carer in order to attend the group, that person may accompany them.
Q. I have been very ill in the past but would like to attend to prevent becoming very ill again. Can I come to the groups?
A. Yes, people who attend are at different stages of their recovery. This is one of the strengths as we learn from one another and provide hope and mutual support. By attending the groups we can strengthen our recovery and prevent going into crisis.
Q. Will the consultant psychiatrists give me advice about my medication and my own illness?
A. The psychiatrists are not there to deal with individual cases, they come to the groups voluntarily in their own personal time. They are keen to help service users in a general way but you must consult your own clinician for specific advice.
Q. How to get in contact?
A. If anyone needs advice or would wish to contribute please contact us.
Office Phone: 0161 222 4005
Mobile or Text: 07758737616
Post: BIG in Mental Health
4 Tenterden Street