22/12/17 A new group to support local people with tinnitus is being formed in Belfast. The first meeting will take place on Tuesday 30 January 2018, 2-4pm at Knockbreda Health and Wellbeing Centre, 110 Saintfield Road, Castlereagh, Belfast, BT8 6GR. The meetings will take place every other month at different venues across the city.

Tinnitus is experienced by around one in ten people, which is over 67,000 people in Belfast alone. The group is being organised by Belfast HSCNI Sensory Support Services. Grace Reihill, Team Manager for the Sensory Support Service says: “The Belfast Trust Sensory Support Service is pleased to announce that we will be facilitating this support group for people experiencing tinnitus who live in Belfast. Our staff look forward to supporting anyone who attends, and we are happy to be working in partnership with the British Tinnitus Association.”

Colette Bunker, BTA Volunteer and Support Group Manager comments: “Being among people who have tinnitus, listening to their experiences and how they manage it, can be a tremendous help. I witness this first hand when attending group meetings. It is amazing seeing the difference it makes to people, especially those who have recently been diagnosed.”

Tinnitus is defined as the experience of sounds with no external source, most commonly ringing or buzzing, but sometimes experienced as whooshing, clicking or even music. Many people aren’t troubled by sounds they hear, but for around 10%, the condition has a significant impact on their quality of life, often linked to stress, anxiety or sometimes depression.

Colette adds: “Tinnitus can be an isolating condition, with friends and family struggling to understand how it feels to adapt to the presence of loud or persistent noises. Some people choose to bring a partner or family member to the meetings, which can often help both parties understand more about the condition and the experiences or behaviours it can bring.”

If you would like to find out more, please contact the Sensory Support team on 0289 504 0200 or sensorysupport@belfasttrust.hscni.net


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