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Q. What is BIG?

A.  BIG stands for Bury Involvement Group in Mental Health also known as BIG in Mental Health. It is a not for profit user-led organisation. BIG consists of people who  gather together to provide mutual support. BIG runs four groups: BIG in Anxiety, BIG in Social, BIG Drop-In and BIG in Recovery. Each one provides support to help those suffering from mental health conditions.

Q. Who can attend BIG?

A.  We are open to any adult who considers themself to have a mental health condition.

Q. What is BIG in Recovery?

A. BIG in RECOVERY 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. Other professionals provide input too.

Q. What is BIG in Anxiety?

A.  At some time in their lives most people experience anxiety but some suffer at a more extreme level which can affect their lifestyle and health. At BIG in anxiety you can share your experiences and learn coping strategies to deal with anxiety. Any adult who suffers with anxiety is welcome to attend. The BIG in anxiety meetings run every two weeks on Monday evening at 6.30pm – 8.30pm at Castle Leisure Centre, Bolton Street, Bury, BL9 0EZ.

Q. Do I have to pay to attend the groups?

A. No, there is no charge but we ask for a donation to cover the cost of refreshments and room hire.

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 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 consider yourself to have a 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 you needs a support worker or carer in order to attend the group, that person may accompany you for the first session.

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 maintain and strengthen our recovery to 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 and help in a general way but you must consult your own clinician for specific advice.