This Way Up is a free six week course that teaches people in difficult circumstances how to use mindfulness techniques, combined with life-coaching sessions to improve resilience.
Since launching in 2012, it has now helped over 200 people in a wide range of circumstances.
When going through times of unemployment, homelessness and ill health, it can be difficult to remain hopeful, cope and find ways forward.
For Kamal, he had a particularly "bad year" while facing anxiety and depression, and wanted to find new ways of "challenging" himself. Although he tried a number of avenues to change his life, such as AA, it was only when he found our This Way Up course that he felt he was "moving forward" in his life.
Instead of focusing narrowly on a single issue such as mental health, the one-to-one life-coaching provided by This Way Up focuses on the whole person, tackling a range of issues and helping people to reach their self-defined life goals. The mindfulness tools, learnt in a group setting, can be used at home or anytime by participants to manage daily life, long after the course ends.
Kamal joined This Way Up after being recommended by his brother who had also taken the course. Kamal welcomed the fact that This Way Up focuses on building a future rather than looking at the past. He still uses the "great" meditation (mindfulness) techniques he learnt there:
“I never knew about meditation and had never done meditation, so it really helped me."
"..anything that was going through my mind I almost felt like I could clear it off by basically meditating, so instead of letting my mind wander all the time, just connecting, be at the present.”
As well as the meditation, he also found the life-coaching sessions to be really helpful:
“It was really amazing, because then you can talk with someone more. With the group it’s safe, but I think when you do it one-to-one you can go more in depth …you feel more comfortable because you can talk about anything you want really.”
Since completing the course and despite his anxiety Kamal feels more "relaxed and calm." He has been inspired by the programme to volunteer to help facilitate the mindfulness group in the next This Way Up course, helping teach others the tools he has learned.
If you or someone you know might benefit from the course, get in touch and find out more with the links below.