To mark Men’s Health Awareness Month, throughout November we will be sharing a number of stories from colleagues whose own experiences of mental health have inspired them to help others.
Our second story comes from Connor Murphy, who joined the Community Roots team earlier this year, as an Apprentice Health and Wellbeing Practitioner.
“I think I’ve always suffered with anxiety and depression from a young age, but I was always told I was just a worrier and my feelings were often dismissed. It wasn’t until my late teens that I realised how I was feeling wasn’t completely normal and the way I was feeling could be better. College helped open my eyes to mental health and ways it could be improved so I guess this is where my interest began.”
Connor studied psychology and counselling at Manchester University and after graduating began working as a support worker. In his work Connor felt he was really able to make a difference to people’s lives by using his own experiences to be relatable but also to inspire others that things can improve. Connor joined the team at Community Roots in April 2023 and is studying for a Health and Wellbeing qualification.
“Having my mental health dismissed when I was younger gave me the drive to want to explore this more and ultimately help other people realise they aren’t alone. My role at Community Roots allows me to make meaningful connections with other people and share our experiences and I really feel like I’m given the opportunity to make a difference. I’ve introduced concepts such as journaling to the curriculum and I love delivering these sessions.”
Connor developed a love of journaling in his early twenties, journaling is known to help people with anxiety as it helps to prioritise problems, fears and concerns and even embrace them. By writing things down, you can face your vulnerabilities, recognise triggers and learn ways to control them whilst proving an outlay for positive self-talk.
Outside of work Connor enjoys walking in nature, camping and exploring the beautiful scenery we are blessed with in Lancashire and South Cumbria. When he’s not outside, Connor enjoys reading Philosophy and there are a few quotes which have stuck with Connor that he uses when delivering his sessions.
“Working at LSCft has improved my self-confidence and self-esteem, I’m now confident enough to present in front of people, which is something a year ago I would have struggled with. During my sessions I always want to be relatable as I know how it feels to be reaching out for help and how important that support network can be.
A quote from Zeno says, ‘wellbeing is realised by small steps, but is no small thing’, and that really resonates with mine and other people’s journeys along with this quote from Epictetus, ‘people are not disturbed by things, but the view which they take of them.”
After completing his studies Connor has aspirations to continue working with Community Roots as the service and curriculum grows and he intends to continue to spread his passion for journaling and quotes.