Mind Your Mental Health: ‘We have seen so many overcome anxiety’

PUBLISHED: 14:31 25 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:31 25 January 2016

Havering Mind's Live a better life programme, at, Harrow Lodge House, Hornchurch Sue Hagan, Ben Barber, and Sharon Metcalfe.

Havering Mind's Live a better life programme, at, Harrow Lodge House, Hornchurch Sue Hagan, Ben Barber, and Sharon Metcalfe.


Anxiety is a normal feeling that occurs when a person faces a difficult or threatening situation.

It can be helpful as it makes us more alert and able to react to a particular situation.

For example if we are in a dangerous situation, anxiety helps us respond and stay safe.

But anxiety as a mental health problem is more than just a normal and useful feeling.

The effects of anxiety can range from feeling apprehensive about a situation to a full blown panic attack.

Constant worrying is the main symptom. Sufferers can have all sorts of worries, often irrational or illogical.

These worries could be about the past or the future or be focused on fear of a particular situation.

This often leads to severe restrictions in normal day-to-day activities, a loss of social life and panic attacks.

Sue Hagen, Ben Barber and Sharon Metcalfe run Havering Mind’s Live a Better Life programme, for people with mental health problems including anxiety.

Project leader Sharon says: “We encourage and support people to come together in a social, safe and active environment.

“People who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety can often be scared to engage with others around them, even too anxious to leave their own homes. But once the initial fear of walking through the door has subsided we find that most people engage with the programme, enjoy the company of others and ‘come out of their shells’.

“We have seen such a change in so many people who use this service.

“It undoubtedly does help people to live a better life!”

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