The first group back of 2017 with a new name, a new look and some new fresh hope and vigour as we stride into a new year with new opportunities. It was a warm gathering to meet and reconnect after a months break.
We had a guest from the Edinburgh Crisis Centre run by Penumbra, Nick, to tell us a bit more about it. First of all it was lovely and helpful to meet a person from the centre which immediately made the service more approachable to people. Group members learned new things about accessing the centre which they had not realised before. These are detailed below:
- You do not have to be known to services in Edinburgh to access the Crisis Centre
- The crisis centre is not affiliated in anyway with the health service and sometimes support from the centre is enough to avoid a hospital attendance or admission as a couple of hours being able to talk through a time of mental torment may be enough for a person to feel out of being in a crisis state.
- The service may be used anytime, however it is not a drop in service so people would need to phone first and go through an assessment process.
- Support can be face to face, by telephone or by text. There are facilities for a person to stay overnight for several nights if this would be safer for them.
- The crisis centre also support carers who may live elsewere if they are concerned or affected by the state of someone they care for who resides in Edinburgh.
The Centre is staffed by a very experienced team who are very well resourced due to the long time they have worked together and provided support to people in crisis in Edinburgh. The centre is a very safe place for people who may need support at anytime.
Group members shared with Nick about their experience of coming to ‘A life worth living’; the group is a place where you can say how you are feeling without judgment and you invariably feel better on leaving than you did on arriving. This has always been a core aim of the group, that people, through the support of one another, and an emphasis on hope find a way to move out of the despair they can sometimes find themselves in.
Group members also had a discussion about loneliness today. It seems that stigma surrounds even this fundamental human experience, leaving people unable to be honest about the way they are feeling for fear of being judged and seen as needy and clingy when actually the very act of sharing the experience will alleviate some of the isolation.
The website ‘Got questions?org provides the following definition of loneliness:
“Being alone and being lonely are two different things. One can be alone without being lonely, and one can be lonely in a crowded room. Loneliness is, therefore, a state of mind, an emotion brought on by feelings of separation from other human beings. The sense of isolation is very deeply felt by those who are lonely. The Hebrew word translated “desolate” or “lonely” in the Old Testament means “one alone, only; one who is solitary, forsaken, wretched.” There is no deeper sadness that ever comes over the mind than the idea that we are alone in the world, that we do not have a friend, that no one cares for us, that no one is concerned about anything that might happen to us, that no one would care if we were to die or shed a tear over our grave.”
If loneliness is an emotion we may go some way towards remedying the feeling by acknowledging some truths about our lives e.g. ‘I attend a group once a week where people care for me and I can connect with others.’ Being alone may be a circumstance contributing to the feeling of loneliness and here some practical solutions may be sought, while appreciating that depression can be a barrier to taking practical steps, but here too cognitive tools can help.