A Chesterfield support group for people with mental health issues invited local MP Toby Perkins to attend their monthly meeting to learn more about issues facing mental health sufferers.
You’re Never Alone - Mental Health Awareness (YNA) was co-created by resident Mark Sims, and provides advice, support and friendship through a Facebook group and regular meetings.
Mr Perkins said: “With the cuts to health services it has become increasingly difficult for people to access the support they need.
“Waiting lists for counselling services can see patients waiting for over two years before they are seen and so there are hundreds of people across Derbyshire not receiving support and feeling like they are alone with their mental health issues.
“Peer-to-peer support groups such as the YNA group can be a significant help to people who are falling through the cracks in the system.”
The YNA Facebook page is a private group that allows people to interact with others with mental health issues and build up their support network. The groups admins are also available for one-to-one support via messenger and email.
Mr Perkins added: “While these groups are important, they can never replace NHS mental health services and we need the Government to ensure that mental health is receiving parity of esteem for funding, to protect patients who are vulnerable and unwell.”