Dragon Club is a safe space for adults in South Wales. It can be used for people new to the area looking to make friends, or for people who are feeling lonely and isolated and might be struggling with their mental health. We are an active Discord channel with over 300 members, regularly running bi-weekly meet-ups. These meet-ups vary from nights out in Cardiff City or taking in the beautiful Welsh landscape in a challenging hike, all while practising Mindfulness and useful mental health techniques.
We feel that even though mental health is talked about a lot in the news, and is consistently pushed as something for companies to take seriously, the reality is that help is not readily available for many. Waiting times for Mental Health Charities can take up to nine months before you can see a therapist. While you can pay to see a therapist at the cost of around £40 a week, many people can’t afford this. We are in no way professionals, but a simple forum where people can talk and hopefully have a good time.
It can also be challenging for young adults to make new friends once out of University or if they are moving to a new area for a job. With our meet-ups we hope to create new friendships and opportunities for everybody involved.
David Wilkinson started the club back in 2019 after the help he received from family, colleagues and friends from a similar group. This helped him overcome several very traumatic experiences in his life that came all at once.
His colleagues introduced him to the charity Mind. After several sessions this helped tremendously and also sparked an interest in mental health and how our brains work and react to things. It also sparked a passion for Mindfulness teachings and techniques which he is continuing to study and hopes to pass on his knowledge to others.
Mindfulness is the act of living in the moment and not worrying about the past or the future. This is extremely difficult to do in our modern society where technology is ever present. At any time you may receive a notification on your phone, computer or even your watch. This is not to say we are anti-technology or anything like that. It’s the technology that helps us every day and our Discord channel is the backbone of Dragon Club.
Take a break
What Mindfulness teaches us is how to switch off for a short amount of time in a day and take stock of ourselves and our present. The world can seem to go at 100mph, meaning our brains are not able to entirely switch off, which can lead to lack of sleep, anxiety and in some cases, depression.
Mindfulness helps us deal with the modern world and slow it down in our heads into manageable chunks. It also helps us appreciate what we have, the people around us and everything that we have achieved up to this point. These practices are core to Dragon Club and the way we try to interact with each other and the world.