Maybe Southwest offers free and low cost counselling and therapeutic art to children and adults experiencing significant mental health difficulties in Bristol and the surrounding area. We help those who can't receive appropriate, timely support from the NHS, but do not have the financial means for private therapy.
Due to the recent Covid-19 lock-down, the number of people needing our services has increased and we do not want to turn anyone away. We are increasing the number of therapists working with Maybe and are raising funds to support this.
The people who come to us for help have experienced a wide range of difficulties including domestic violence, trauma, childhood abuse, anxiety, depression, personality disorders, self-harm and eating disorders. Dealing with these types of problems can:
- Diminish a person's ability to work or study effectively, often leading to unemployment, poverty and even homelessness
- Diminish a person's ability to relate to and trust others, often leading to relationship breakdown, loss of friendships and loneliness
Many of our clients find themselves homeless after losing their jobs due to mental health problems. Loneliness can often be a bi-product, as shame and lack of confidence make it harder to reach out to others for the care and support a person needs to recover.
Maybe Southwest offers different therapeutic approaches to match the needs of each individual we are supporting. Relational Therapies (talking therapies that are based on a non-judgemental relationship between therapist and client) can be mixed with other styles, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. We also offer Art Therapy to both children and adults.
Our rooms are large enough for group work, even with social distancing in place, which has allowed us to continue providing face to face services even during the lock-down.
Feedback about our services
Here are some comments from people who have received our help:
- I was able to talk to someone who listens and doesn’t judge.
- My daughter found it useful to talk about how she was feeling and what had happened to make her feel that way.
- It gave me a place to feel safe
- I have learnt a lot about myself and been given useful strategies to help
- I was given support to try and get me through an extremely difficult time and to start rebuilding my life.
Here's how they described our therapists:
Professional, Warm, Supportive, Knowledgeable, Accepting, Non-judgemental, Calm, Good listener
We have Humphrey, our Maybe dog, who comes to some sessions. She particularly likes visiting the children's groups and helping people relax. For those who have no physical contact with another person, stroking Humphrey can offer comfort and a safe, physical connection.
Expressing emotions through art:
For those receiving therapy in the art room, working creatively can help them express their emotions and find different coping strategies, even when they can't put their feelings or experiences into words. This can be particularly valuable for anyone hurt or abused during childhood, before words were their main form of communication, and also for those who find it hard to recognise their own emotions.
Here are some examples:
Thank you for reading and showing an interest in the work we do. If you are able to support us financially please do give. Crowdfunding are offering us their service free of charge so all the money goes to Maybe, directly to the offering of therapeutic services. (We don't pay any overheads or administration costs with your donations.)
If you are interested in being a trustee or volunteering an hour or two of your time each month do get in touch at [email protected] and let us know.