FREE meditation classes are being offered to Wirral residents with mental health issues.

The weekly course, which is being run by charity Wirral Mind, aims to help people to tackle depression and other problems.

And instructor Graeme Waterfield, who has battled the condition himself, is hoping the classes will reach out to those who need support the most.

The 39-year-old said: “Meditation can help with an array of mental health problems, such as depression. It’s really for peace and mind and general well-being. Meditation helps people to find a new way of looking at life, to get more clarity and purpose.

“The philosophy is if someone has had a traumatic experience, for example, it is in the past - but the memory of the experience can cause emotional upset. Meditation helps a person to step back and become an observer to their own thoughts, which enables them to become free of negative thinking and repetitive behaviour.

“The essence of the work is to build up the confidence we are just fine as we are and it brings a sense of calm.”

Graeme started studying meditation, Reiki, psychotherapy, yoga, spiritual philosophy and martial arts 18 years ago.

At the age of 21 he appeared to have it all - a successful career as an engineer salesman, a good income and nice house but he suffered from depression for a year and had to take some time off work.

He said: “I was not upset by anything in particular, I just felt inside there must be a deeper meaning to life than just the physical experience.”

He later visited India and gained a diploma in counselling following a three-year course but felt Tai Chi and meditation was more beneficial to help people deal with mental health problems.

Sara Hatta, training manager at Mind, said: “We get excellent feedback from people who attend Graeme’s Letting Go class.

"They report significant improvements in their ability to manage their own mental wellbeing and an increased resilience to deal with life’s challenges.”

  • For more information call Mind on 0151 512 2200 or apply online for Letting Go at