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Wolves Foundation a life saver with its Head 4 Health project

Paul Berry provides the latest news from the Wolves Foundation:

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John Martin

“Without Wolves Foundation, I would not be here today…that’s for certain.”

The strong and powerful words of John Martin, from Oxley, who is one of the many to have benefitted from the Foundation’s Head 4 Health project, which aims to improve the mental health of adults from across the region.

The 68-year-old first attended Head 4 Health sessions in early 2020, after several years of struggling with his mental health which included twice getting close to taking his own life.

In ultimately deciding that it would be too selfish to take his own life in terms of the pain it would cause others, John then sought help and was put on medication for the treatment of depression.

It was then that he was also told about Wolves Foundation’s Head 4 Health project, an initial six-week programme of activities and workshop then followed by ‘Extra Time’ sessions for anyone wishing to stay engaged.

Not only do the sessions support his own mental health, his altruistic approach and indeed skills developed in his teaching career have seen him help other participants, not just with advice and guidance but practical assistance in areas such as Maths, English and completing documents.

“Life had been getting very complicated but it was the old adage, as a bloke I was just meant to get on with it,” John explains.

“The one time I ended up driving to Barmouth with a view to ending it all and I sat in my car for hours before realising it was a selfish act where I wouldn’t feel any more pain, but other people would.

“Coming to Head 4 Health, whilst I found it a challenge at first, is one of the best things I have ever, ever done.”

John’s support for others earned him the ‘Outstanding Achievement’ award at the Foundation’s inaugural dinner in November, but, from the words of his wife Anne, the rewards for improving his mental health go way behind that well-deserved accolade.

“It’s awful to see the person you really love become so low that they just want to end it -

it rocks your whole world,” she says.

“It’s really hard for anyone to acknowledge they need help, but for John to face up to that, and start to look ahead and realise he had a place in the community - that was invaluable.

“Head 4 Health has become a real lifeline, especially in the safe space of Molineux where he has been a passionate Wolves fan all his life.

“It has made such a difference, given him the courage and confidence to speak out, and I can’t tell you how proud I am.”

John’s story is being highlighted ahead of Blue Monday next week, the day acknowledged as the most depressing of the year which is now utilised to raise awareness of the need to improve mental health.