SOME people bake cookies for kids in hospital, others count whales as they migrate along our coast, while others provide support for the 14 per cent of people in our community who experience anxiety.
The Mental Health Association NSW (MHA) runs free monthly support groups in many locations across NSW and is looking to start a new group in Taree.
To achieve this, MHA is seeking local volunteers to act as anxiety support group facilitators.
Training is provided for all volunteer facilitators and the ongoing commitment is just a few hours per month over a 12-month period.
Potential group leaders may have a background in psychology or community welfare, supported friends or family experiencing anxiety, or have had a personal experience of recovery from an anxiety disorder or illness.
All of us experience anxiety, which can be helpful as anxiety is necessary for us to recognise and respond to danger.
However for some, anxiety can become problematic. Some people experience excessive worry which they may not find easy to control.
"It is a delight when you can lead these people to the expertise required and you see them coming back to the support group greatly relieved and appreciative," says Julie Leitch, a volunteer who has had direct experience with obsessive compulsive disorder.
For more information contact Linda Manoukian by phoning 9339 6000 or lmanoukian@ mentalhealth.asn.au, or visit www.mentalhealth.asn.au
"Often the group is the first place where people can speak openly. We've been running these support groups across NSW with great success," says Elizabeth Priestley, CEO of MHA.
"Some attendees say that their recovery really began when they joined a support group.
Others experience feelings of unease that make it hard to do simple things like socialise, visit crowded places or look out high windows, and as such anxiety can be very disruptive to their personal lives.
For more information contact Linda Manoukian by phoning 9339 6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.mentalhealth.asn.au