by Colin Dexter

SHADE is a user-led self help group for adults who suffer with depression.

We are based in Risca, about 7 miles north west of Newport in South Wales (UK). A  number of members travel to us from surrounding areas including  Chepstow, Newport, Cardiff, Pontypool, Abertillery and Tredegar.
Any  adult who has or has had depression or anxiety is welcome on the basis  of mutual respect. You don’t have to have a formal diagnosis. We also  reach out and invite referrals via health professionals, social  services, and voluntary organisations.
We  meet twice a week, on Tuesdays from 7pm – 9pm, and on Thursdays from  1pm – 3pm. There is no charge to attend or for membership, just come  along and meet us. Our aim  is to support each other, in a safe confidential environment.
We chat,  listen, empathise, have fun, invite speakers, go 10 pin bowling, go out  for meals, gentle walks… the list continues to grow and we welcome new  ideas.  A key word is Respect – we try to adapt to the needs of those attending. SHADE is affiliated with Journeys (previously Depression Alliance – Cymru).
We  have made links with the Caerphilly East Community Mental Health Team  (CMHT) in Risca.  Doctors’ surgeries and chemists display our poster, as  do many other local health organisations and projects.
Dan-y-Graig  Church, Risca, kindly let us use their hall for our meetings, and  display our poster. Some SHADE members are Christians – many are not –  reflecting the general population.
1  in 4 people in Britain suffer with depression, but many don’t or can’t  acknowledge this.  Social “stigma” and lack of public knowledge and  education makes life very difficult for sufferers. The Press often don’t  help – remember “Bonkers Bruno”?  We try to find ways of reducing  stigma – working with various organisations. 

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