Former Millbrook patient returns to spread festive cheer

Christmas Day can be the most depressing and loneliest time of the year for some people and a 21-year-old student from Ashfield knows exactly how that feels.

Friday, 27th December 2019, 11:51 am

Saralee Parr, of Sutton-in-Ashfield, had once attempted to kill herself but thanks to the wonderful care of the staff at Millbrook Mental Health Unit at Kings Mill Hospital, she came back stronger.

Having been discharged recently from the Lucy Wade unit, she decided to return to the hospital with Christmas presents to thank the efforts of the staff who work in the care sector.

"For a long time, I struggled with mental health. It got really bad recently and I tried to kill myself and I was in the hospital for two weeks.

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Saralee (far right) with her brother Callum and mother Joanne with the members of the New Cross Community Church on Christmas Day (December 25) at Millbrook Mental Health Unit, Kings Mill Hospital.
Saralee (far right) with her brother Callum and mother Joanne with the members of the New Cross Community Church on Christmas Day (December 25) at Millbrook Mental Health Unit, Kings Mill Hospital.

"I notice the people inside are quite sad as they don't get many visitors. So I decided to do a community appeal among my friends and family members," she said.

The community appeal, which was organised by The A Little Bit of Sunshine Project, aimed to provide gifts and visit those who may not see anyone over the time of Christmas.

And the mental health sector is often forgotten, said Saralee.

"When we came to the hospital, the patients and the staff were surprised and some were crying.

Saralee (centre) with her brother Collum with a hospital staff.

"Most people are feeling like at their lowest and sad but just to get someone to bring a smile on their face, talk to them and tell them it is okay to be sad is enough for them," she said.

Saralee said the community appeal was done with the help from her brother Callum, her mother Joanne and the members of New Cross Community Church.

Callum, who is also the project's managing director said they came up with the idea as mental health issues are something close to them.

"And also it helps people realise that it is okay not to be okay," he said.

Launched in July this year, the main objective of the The A Little Bit of Sunshine Project is to share information on mental health and offer support for all those struggling.