According to the World Health Organisation, mental health and depression will be second only to chronic heart disease as an international health problem by 2020, with 1 in 6 people currently experiencing a common mental disorder.
It’s a subject that has garnered much press attention on the island over the past year, and whilst these issues are being addressed, the challenges facing mental health services are significant and it’s a sector that is buckling under the demand for its services.
Quing is a charity, young in its inception, that is striving to change the stigma surrounding mental health and provide additional grassroots support to struggling communities. The brainchild of Graham Clucas, Quing’s ethos is to develop fundamentals in people damaged by toxic stress and trauma, and rather than seeking to treat or manage such afflictions it looks to help people overcome these problems by targeting the cause, rather than the effect.
“People who have been damaged by trauma and toxic stress are often limited by their social, cultural, material and personal capital,” says Graham.
“If you want long-term change in someone’s life it isn’t about giving them medication or treatment. It’s about building those capitals back up, reconnecting people back within society and rebuilding these capitals so they can thrive in the community.”
Graham is well seated when it comes to the needs of people struggling with mental health and addiction. His own past is peppered with struggles and torment. An unhappy childhood paved the way for alcohol and drug use, which provided the foundations for a stint in prison. Since the age of 33, with a string of hardships under his belt, Graham embarked on an incredible journey of turning his life around, obtaining a Master’s Degree in Counselling:
“Quing is the type of charity that I wish was there for me when I was trying to turn my life around.”
It’s difficult not to be inspired by Graham. He’s softly spoken, but with a real passion for helping the community, and he’s been fundamental in establishing a Discovery Café, which is currently held at The Well Broadway Baptist Church in Douglas with a view to relocating to the All Saints Church on Alexander Drive.
The café is open every Tuesday from 2.30pm-6.30pm, and is a place for people to discover recovery and healing through conversations over cake and coffee. The café also plays host to a number of different workshops based on client needs, covering topics including mindfulness and group dynamics. It’s a scheme which validates just how much community-based initiatives contribute to the health and social care system.
2018 plays host to Quing’s inaugural international conference, which brings together thought leaders and highly experienced practitioners from across Europe to the Isle of Man for the one-day event.
Held at the Royal Hall, Villa Marina on Thursday 6th December, the event runs from 9.30am – 5pm and features keynote speakers including Professor Rex Haigh, a leader in therapeutic communities; Nick Putman, CEO of Open Dialogue Approach UK; Jackie Chivers, Director of Therapy at Athena Counselling Services; and Peter and Lucinda Neall from the Neall Scott Partnership.
The event aims to take its attendees on a journey through the latest musings and practices in the expanding field of mental afflictions.
Tickets for the Quing Conference are available through Eventbrite, Facebook and LinkedIn. For more details on Quing and the work they do, follow them on Facebook here./.