In our simplest form, we as human beings are just cells, chemicals and electrical signals. Everything we do is about survival, and protecting our cells and chemicals from a scary, ever-changing world, to help us carry on functioning the best we can. Sadly, as we all know, we can’t control everything that happens in our lives, and sometimes we need an emergency back-up system to help us survive. Stress and anxiety are both part of this back-up system. Whether we struggle ourselves, or we are close to people who do, it can be frightening and exhausting, turning even the mildest-mannered bear into an unrecognisable people-eating Grizzly overnight.
Understanding why we feel the way we do, and that there is help out there, and tools to manage the stress and anxiety we can all experience in our lives, can be a huge relief, and a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
This evening of talks, facilitated by Martin Howlett MBE, Chair of The Board of Trustees for Our Sam, is designed for anyone who would just like to understand more. Whilst we will focus on loss and grief as a trigger to stress and anxiety, in a year that nobody could ever have predicted, that has brought experiencing stress and anxiety into so many peoples’ lives, we really want to give anyone who would like to know more, the opportunity to join us. Nobody should be alone in trying to cope.
Let us introduce you to our speakers and topics for the evening…
To start the evening, we have our own Founder and CEO, Philippa Davies.
Philippa has talked openly about her own struggles with depression, anxiety and PTSD, following the loss of Sam and her other babies, but that hasn’t stopped her. Currently, as well as developing Our Sam to support other bereaved parents, she is a Writer, Part Time Project Funding Manager for The Neumark Foundation in North Wales, and as a Postgraduate Biologist, she is also a Visiting Lecturer at Chester University in Biology and Life Sciences
So who better to give us the biological basics of why we feel the way we do?
7.30 – 7.45pm – Being Human, why do I feel the way I do? The basic biology of stress and anxiety
Philippa Davies BSc, MSc – Founder and CEO Our Sam / Lecturer in Life Sciences
Following Philippa we have our own Hemant Maraj, talking about health and medical support…
7.45 – 8.00pm – Going to see the Doctor with stress and anxiety – Common health conditions associated with stress and anxiety, and available medical support
Hemant Maraj MRCOG, DFSRH, MSc (Med Ed) – Trustee Our Sam / North Wales Clinical Lead for Women’s Services at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Sadly due to unforeseen circumstances Jane Gibbins, Counselling Team Leader at Ty Gobaith/Hope House Children’s Hospice is now unable to be with us, but we are delighted that Karen Lafferty has been able to step in last minute. Thank you so much to Karen. Karen is going to talk about Counselling, what it is all about and how it can help.
8.00 – 8.10pm
Counselling, what’s it all about? How can it help me?
Karen Lafferty BACP Accredited Counsellor specialising in bereavement and loss, supporting parents through pregnancy loss and the death of a baby, working with a number of charities, also a Trustee for Samaritans Scotland
8.10 – 8.20pm
Counsellor, Karen Lafferty and Our Sam Founder and CEO, Philippa Davies chat about Counselling in practice
Next we are very pleased to be joined by two fantastic individuals from Sands UK, working in different ways to support mental health specifically linked with baby loss ….
8.20 – 8.30pm
Sands UK Support for Baby Loss
Rhian Lewis (Sands Online Support)
8.30 – 8.40
Sands United Football Teams – Supporting Dads and Mental Health following baby loss Peter Byrom (Team Manger Sands Utd Bristol and Sands Befriender)
Finally we have the wonderful, and truly lovely, footballing legend, incredible advocate for mental health, and our own Patron, Neville Southall MBE…
8.40 – 8.50
Why is supporting Mental Health is so important to talk about? Q&A session with Philippa
Neville Southall MBE – Patron to Our Sam