I’d like to say a big hello and welcome you to my new column which will be appearing here every week.

My name is Martin Furber, and I am a mental health and well-being professional, qualified as a therapist in various fields.

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. The main difference being that people usually feel able and willing to talk about their physical health, they find it easy, there is no stigma.

This is not always the case when it comes to our mental health and well-being.

Although I work outside of the NHS, I am on the CNHC register which means GPs can refer people to me.

I help people on a one to one basis from my practice in Preston and nationally online via Zoom. I am also an instructor member of Mental Health First Aid England, training people to be mental health first aiders.

Mental health issues can affect anyone at any time, sometimes when we least expect it. Even with all the recent publicity stating ‘It’s OK not to be OK’, we don’t always feel we are able to talk about mental health issues.

Many people feel uncomfortable bringing up the subject with family, friends or colleagues.

Northwich Guardian: Mental health and wellbeing professional Martin FurberMental health and wellbeing professional Martin Furber (Image: Martin Furber)

My column is here to help you. I want to get mental health issues into the open and get the conversation flowing with you. It’s time to #stopthestigma

I’ll be offering you some simple techniques to maintain good mental health and showing you how you can build mental resilience so that you don’t just cope better but can thrive, mentally, in difficult times.

I’ll also be advising you on some of the signs to watch out for that can indicate when someone you know is struggling with their mental health and what you can do to help them.

I doubt there is a single person who has not been affected in some way since Covid reared its ugly head just over three years ago.

The feelings of isolation and loneliness it caused have had long term effects on many people and have been made worse by the stress and anxiety caused by recent world events.

Combine this with the financial uncertainty many people are facing with the cost of virtually everything we need from food to fuel and mortgages rising, and it is easy to see why so many people are experiencing mental health issues.

If there are any particular aspects of mental health, you would like me to cover please get in touch via email: wellbeing@martinfurber.com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Please note: If you feel you are in a mental health crisis or emergency and may be in danger of causing harm to yourself or others then please contact your GP, The Samaritans on 116 123, attend A&E or text SHOUT to 85258.