A NEW mental health wellness centre has opened in Barrow in a bid to help change the stigma around mental health.

Reaching Wellness LTD, founded by Gemma Louise, is a new not for profit mental health and wellness business based on Buccleuch Street.

The fundamental incentive of the business is “bringing people together to learn, heal and grow.”

Free offerings include group therapy, therapist-led support groups, mental health awareness and education workshops, wellness programs, school activities and help for families with autistic children and corporate wellness in workplace.

Mrs Louise also runs her private practise called Gemma Louise CBT that offers paid private therapy for clients if desired.

The idea for Reaching Wellness came after Mrs Louise - a private psychotherapist, spent the last 18 months listening to what the community feels is missing in mental health and wellness support, education and prevention.

She was consistently seeing private clients of all ages for treatment of anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental health conditions and began thinking about how we can, if possible, prevent the next generation of people having the same problems.

Since Boxing Day at least six people have been suspected of taking their own lives in Barrow.

Mrs Louise said: “It was only five years ago that people were afraid to even mention cancer and now people are far more willing to open up and talk about it.

“We need to achieve the same thing towards mental health and that is what we hope to achieve here.”

Mrs Louise is also backing the Mail’s Time to Talk campaign which seeks to encourage more people to open up about mental health difficulties.

As a not-for-profit businesses and individuals are encouraged to sponsor to help with running costs so that it can provide accessible support to those who need it the most.

If you would like to learn more about their services visit: www.reachingwellness.co.uk.