In 2018, local triathlete and businessman, Phil Merrison, established A Platform to Talk as a way to encourage employers and employees to manage mental health within the workforce. He encouraged people to talk and despite his own continued battle he was always there to help others. It is unbelievably sad that he lost his own fight on his way to finding his peace.
In 2020, Phil’s business closed following his death. With Phil in mind, and inspired by him, Lydia Gibbs, Karen Valentine, Dave Jackson and Robert Pritchard set-up a mental health group in Phil’s memory with the same name as his business: “A Platform To Talk”… in loving memory of Phil Merrison, father, son, partner, friend, triathlete, runner and all-round a fantastic human being.
A Platform To Talk provides a platform for people to talk about mental health and welfare, and makes sure that those in need can access the help they need. They support sufferers by providing peer support groups, community events and workshops, funding for the delivery of mental health first aid within the local community of North East Lincolnshire, funding for mental health counselling support, and awareness-raising activities.
The team at A Platform To Talk believe that talking is an important part of healing, and that’s why they strive to provide a space where people can come together to discuss their issues. They want their group to be a place where people feel comfortable reaching out for help, or just sharing their experiences with others. They believe that if people are able to seek help before they reach crisis, then chances are they will recover. Early intervention increases the chances of recovery, and they want to make it easier for people to reach out for help when they need it.
A Platform To Talk is so excited to announce that they have recently been granted charitable status!
When they started out, they had no idea how big this would get. Armed with some charity wristbands and a few followers, little did they know that 18 months later they would have raised £1,000’s for mental health and have over 800 members in their group.
Lydia, Karen, Dave and Rob have spent months writing paperwork and meeting with Charity Commission advisors to be able to run as a charity themselves and now this has been made reality. They are excited about the future of their organisation.
The team from A Platform To Talk said: “We want to thank all of you who have been a part of this journey so far. Without all of you—and your support, love, and kindness—this wouldn’t be possible. We can’t wait to see what the next 18 months hold!”
You can visit their Facebook group “A Platform to Talk” or their website aplatformtotalk.org for more information. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.