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An article from the Stroud News and Journal 25th April 2012:

Stroud Depression Support Group

TUESDAY, April 3, saw the fourth meeting of the Stroud Depression support Group, which happens to be the only support group for those affected by depression in the county of Gloucestershire.

As the group gather strength and becomes better known, we are able to invite guest speakers, and as a result Richard Atkinson, a local counsellor, came along to give a talk to the group.

The majority of the group will have some experience of counselling so Richard did not have to talk as if the group had no knowledge of counselling.

He was able to explain the difference between directive and non-directive counselling, for example, which had relevance for various members of the group.

He also offered a possible explanation for the causes of depression, which was certainly food for thought.

After his talk about counselling there was then an informal discussion in which various questions were put to Richard and which were answered in a manner that displayed a great knowledge of counselling and the skills required to be a good counsellor.

All those present thought it had been very worthwhile for Richard to come along and we look forward to seeing and hearing him again.

It should be remembered that the government is strongly advocating talking therapies such as counselling as an alternative to drug therapies.

It should be mentioned that the group is there to give support – not therapy – to anyone affected by depression and this includes not only those suffering from depression themselves but family members and carers of those affected.

The meetings are informal with no set agenda and there is no requirement for those coming to the meeting to speak. If someone wants to sit and enjoy the company, knowing they are among friends, then that is fine.

All those present thought it had been a positive and constructive meeting and look forward to the next meeting of the Stroud Depression Support Group.

As said, the group is meeting on the first Tuesday of the month (though in June it will be the third Tuesday) and to obtain details of meetings, people can email: stroudalliance@yahoo.co.uk