The organisation which helped Mr Sunderland Brad Hopper with his depression has praised him for finding the courage to speak publicly about his fight.
Brad, who has spoken at length about his battle, received regular professional counselling from the Washington branch of mental health charity Mind during 2012 and 2013.
Services manager Jacqui Reeves said: “It is always welcome whenever someone like Brad takes the step of talking about the positive experience they have had because you do not know who is out there reading and who it inspires to seek help.
“It may just make them realise that there are other people out there who have gone through something similar and who can and do get better.”
As well as counselling, the branch, based at Life House, in Grasmere Terrace, Columbia, also offers alternative therapies, training, volunteering opportunities, group work, exercise and photography.
Mrs Reeves added: “Our building is tremendously busy and we don’t just offer mental health services that you might normally expect to find here.
“We have things like yoga classes and toddler groups. This all helps to reduce the stigma people may feel about coming here in the first place.”
Last year the branch, one of more than 130 in England and Wales, offered support to around 3,500 visitors.
The nationwide figure for people seeking help from Mind is 513,000 with latest statistics suggesting that around one in every six people experience a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression every week.
Mrs Reeves said: “You do not have to be referred from a doctor. You can self refer and can contact us in person, over the phone, via email or through Facebook.”
Washington Mind’s reception is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am-5pm, Tuesdays from 9am-7.30pm and Fridays from 9am-3pm.
The building will remain open later for regular activities. Early evening appointments also take place in public places such as coffee shops. GP surgeries and community centres.
Further details are available by telephoning (0191) 4178043 or by emailing email@example.com
A separate Sunderland branch is based at 14 Norfolk Street, Sunderland.
Telephone (0191) 5657218 or email firstname.lastname@example.org