Newly-launched volume - Fleetwood’s Little Book of Hope - offering mental health support
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A Fleetwood woman has launched a book which she hopes can offer help and support to people battling mental health issues.
Liz Loftus, 43, who works in mental health and also set up support organisation, Inspired Minds, joined forces with artist Tina Dempsey and writer Nathan Parker to create Fleetwood’s Little Book of Hope.
The book, which brings together stories of courage, recovery and hope from residents of the town, was given its official launch at Fleetwood’s North Euston on Monday, November 13.
In a project jointly funded by Wyre Council and the NHS, free copies of the book were at the launch and are now available from GP practices, across local mental health services, schools, libraries and some churches.
What they say
Liz, who works for the Primary Care Trust as a children’s mental health lead, said: “There has been a lot of support for the book.
"Without the funding from Wyre Council and the NHS, it would never have been possible.
"The council provided financial back up but just let us get on with it, so we were really grateful to get that kind of support.
"The idea for the book is that it can give people, who are really struggling with their mental health, some hope.
"All the stories and poems in the book are about real Fleetwood people who have had their struggles but came through the other side.”
Liz has her own personal back story which has motivated her to try and help others.
In 2016 Dean McIver, the father of Liz’s daughter, took his own life.
Dean’s tragic death was traumatic for Liz and others close to him and it spurred her to set up mental health project Inspired Minds.
The book is very much part of that project.
She said: “If this book, with its real life stories of struggle and hope, can change the mindset of anyone who is feeling suicidal, it will be worth it.
"The message is that they are not alone, others have been there too and come through it, and help is out there and available.”
Ex-boxing champ’s story
Among those whose stories are included in the book is former world boxing champ Jane Couch, from Fleetwood, who had her own struggles after she stepped away from boxing.
Jane was at the launch of the book, which features inspiring art work from artist Tina Dempsey and has been sympathetically written by Nathan Parker.
At the lunch event, event, members of the public came along, heard about the project and read the stories of hope, and could also find out more about mental health support in the local area.
With 300 copies of the book already snapped up, Liz says more may need to be produced.