For several years Dave Earle has been on a quest to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness and provide tools which people can utilise to overcome adversity.
Dave began offering classes for people with drug and alcohol problems through his work with Turning Point, an addiction treatment centre .
When that partnership ended, just over a year ago, Dave decided to open up the classes to a wider audience after realising many substance abuse problems had an underlying mental illness aspect.
Dave also re-branded the 11am Monday morning class.
Dave said: “We named the group Tribus. It’s three in Latin and stands for physical, mental and emotional health so it takes care of all three.
“A year ago I said ‘right I’m going to invite everybody in – anxiety, depression whatever mental health problem you have, come along.”
As part of Dave’s reinvention of the free two-hour class he brought in professional cognitive behavioural coach, Bob Scott, who guides participants through coping mechanisms and cognitive therapy during the second hour of the class, in the White Horse pub.
Bob said: “Most of it is focused on anxiety and depression but really it’s about trying to find a way to have positive mental health rather than seeing things as negative.”
The successes within the class have been numerous as Bob explains: “One lady has been sober for over a year, another lady lost six stone in weight by changing her diet and approach to things.”
This week the group were presented with a cheque for £150 by White Horse landlord Ken Thompson who welcomes the group with free coffee and tea from noon every Monday.
Ken said: “We won community pub of the year a few years ago and we try and raise money each month for some of the smaller charities.
“My brother, Richard, suffered from anxiety and a few weeks ago it was unfortunately the tenth anniversary of his death, so we thought it would be a good idea to coincide with that a little raffle here and raise some money for Tribus.”
Dave also launched the Tribus 2019 calendar, which features past and present Tribus attendees and will retial for £9.95 with proceeds supporting the future classes.
It is available now from Dave’s Spit ‘N’ Sawdust Gym in North Bar.
Bob added: “Dave is keen to get as many to come as possible and it does make a difference. We want to try and get more men to come along, we have the biggest problem talking about our emotions.
“Once I get them thinking about their emotional self they chance character almost.”
To find out more about the Tribus program visit their Facebook page.