mental health

When things change, having a strong support system can make all the difference. Mohammed, a  Freemason from Berkshire, faced divorce, health issues, and the challenges of the pandemic. He turned to his fellow Freemasons and the MCF for help and was able to access the services he needed and secure vital mental health support and financial assistance for his daughter.

As the pandemic swept the world, Mohammed was already grappling with difficult circumstances at home. On top of navigating the challenges that came with lockdown, he was also dealing with a divorce, a serious health issue and the sudden need to take full custody of his three children – Zarena, Zara and Laila. His middle child, 11-year-old Zara, has autism and was being home-schooled as she was not coping with going to school.

This was a lot for Mohammed to handle, and his mental health began to suffer. Due to his health complications, he was not able to work, and the bills started to mount up. His Almoner and other  friends from his Lodge noticed his struggles – they offered support and encouraged him to seek medical attention and contact the MCF for assistance.

After visiting his doctor, Mohammed was diagnosed with heart failure. But with the right  medication and counselling, he was slowly able to regain his health and wellbeing. Thanks to our support, he was also able to receive financial assistance to help cover his bills and focus on his family’s needs.

After I contacted the MCF, a Visiting Volunteer came to my home to help me to fill out my application forms, making the whole process much easier! When the help came through, it felt like a godsend. I was able to catch up with bills and focus on my physical health and the wellbeing of my family.

But the whole situation was also affecting Zara’s mental health; she was feeling anxious, depressed and struggling to engage with her family and the world around her. After trying to seek support from his GP and discovering a three-year waiting list for a children’s therapist, Mohammed reached out to us again for help.

With our support, Zara was able to attend counselling sessions which gave her the confidence to go back to school and help her to deal with her depression and anxiety.

The counselling had a monumental impact on my family. I have no words to describe how important the help from the MCF was for us. Without it, we would be having a very different conversation right now. Zara is now back at school and she is the sarcastic teen she is supposed to be. My daughter was able to go back to the world and be herself.

To help more children and young people like Zara to overcome difficulties and have a fresh start, we have recently launched a mental health support service for children and grandchildren of Freemasons. We’re working with an experienced and independent provider to offer access to mental health services for eligible children, aged five and over.


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