Promoting good mental health for Freemasons and their families.
Awareness of mental health issues has increased in recent years as a result of media focus, government initiatives and charity campaigns. This means there is now more support and understanding than ever before for those struggling with their mental health.
Our mental health can be impacted by any number of things – from major life changes like a bereavement or redundancy to long-term issues such as caring for a loved one or dealing with a chronic illness. Unfortunately, and despite the issue of mental health being pushed into the spotlight, societal pressures mean that some people do not feel comfortable asking for help, and men are far less likely than women to reach out.
The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) is here to help Freemasons and their families improve their mental wellbeing and live happier, healthier lives. As well as a confidential counselling service, the MCF can cover the cost of specialist treatment and offers grants to relieve day-to-day pressures on families and individuals.
Freemason Martin has been with his partner, Gavin, for more than 18 years. When Gavin started to become mentally unwell ten years ago, Martin was forced to become his full-time carer. A diagnosis of colon cancer added to Martin’s stress, and he soon found it difficult to afford his rent and bills.
“The stress of everything means I haven’t been able to work. Recently, everything started to get too much. I did the best I could to get by, but it became impossible. I was served a notice of eviction, and I didn’t know what to do.”
Martin described himself as “embarrassed” as he thought the MCF’s help was for people in situations far worse than his own – a common misconception among those contemplating asking for support. Despite his doubts, he reached out to the MCF and a Visiting Volunteer soon met with him and helped him through the application process. “Together, we filled in the forms and sent them off. It was so simple and there was no judgement whatsoever.”
The MCF were able to make an emergency payment to clear Martin’s debt arrears, meaning he and Gavin could keep their home. The charity also supported them with daily living expenses to help them to get back on their feet.
“The support from the MCF gave me breathing room to focus on my own health as well as Gavin’s. I started sleeping a little better and it meant I stopped worrying about being homeless – something I really didn’t need adding to my stress. I’m so pleased I gave the MCF a call – it doesn’t matter what your situation is, if they can help you and you’re eligible, they will.”
Can the MCF help you or your family?
Whatever life brings, the MCF is tackling some of the biggest issues facing Freemasons and their families. Contact the MCF now to find out if they can help you.
Visit the MCF website: www.mcf.org.uk
Call: 0800 035 60 90
A very moving video of Alan’s story.
If you need help, reach out, the Masonic Charitable Foundation is here to help.