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Mental health counsellor faces fear head on to help to spread an important message

Lichfield mental health counsellor and comedienne Sheila McMahon is on a mission – to improve the mental health of as many people as she can.

So much so, that Sheila, who delivers mental health talks and counselling sessions to schools, has taken up a challenge that’s seeing her face a fear head on – to learn to ride a motorbike.

Sheila is taking on the challenge – with the help of experts at Shireoak Motorcycle Training school in Brownhills – despite the prospect of sitting at the controls triggering tears to flow after she was in a traumatic car crash as a 19-year-old.

Sheila’s pushing herself outside her comfort zone after giving talk to motorbike group

But why is she taking herself outside of her comfort zone?

It’s all in a bid to encourage as many people as possible to watch a 10 minute video on her YouTube channel on how to help someone who is suffering from suicidal thoughts.

It comes after Sheila delivered a mini mental health show to Lichfield’s Advanced Motorcycle Group (LAMG) and in order to encourage a room full of bikers to watch her video on this difficult, but very important subject, she agreed to challenge herself to take to the helm of a motorbike.

Sheila, who is used to riding pillion to her long-term partner Mark but not being at the controls, said:

“It’s been quite terrifying to be honest.

“Just the thought of learning to ride a motorbike saw tears start to flow because I was in a nasty car crash at 19-year-old when the driver hit the car accelerator pedal by mistake, instead of the brake, and the car somersaulted through the air.

“So, this has triggered a lot of past emotions and I’ve had to do lots of prep work to prepare myself. But I’m always willing to put my money where my mouth is when it comes to raising awareness of mental health and improving it for others.

“Learning to help someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts is a serious message that affects everyone, as, unfortunately, most people have lost someone to suicide, or know someone who has taking their own lives, that’s the sad reality.”

Challenge is already having desired effect

And, despite only just kickstarting the challenge it’s already having the desired effect as she’s already had 100 new views of her video and support is continuing to gain momentum across the region.

A Shireoak Motorcycle Training spokesman said: “A big hats off to Sheila McMahon for challenging and pushing herself outside of her own comfort zone to raise awareness and educate others on how we can all play our part to recognise and help anyone we know who may be struggling with mental health and suicidal thoughts.”

Sheila added: “If people are willing to push themselves out of their comfort zone, then I’m willing to do the same.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that it has already started to encourage other people to watch the video, and I would like to encourage as many people as possible to watch and share it because together we can make a difference.”

While there’s a very serious side to the challenge, as a comedienne Sheila’s not unwilling to make a fool of herself in the name of a good cause!

So, she’s been working on building up her confidence by donning all her biker gear and taking baby steps by riding a pushbike!!!

Please help Sheila to spread the message about how to help someone with suicidal thoughts by watching and sharing her video here – Ep 1 : Suicide | Pt 6 How can I help someone who has suicidal thoughts? – YouTube

Sheila also runs training workshops online and in person – with her next online training being held on Anxiety Awareness 9am-12noon on November 26 – as well as delivering talks and mini mental health comedy shows in schools, education providers, businesses, community groups and at events.

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