Safe space to talk

Today the group thought it would be a good idea to have a meeting where the time was spent on giving people the opportunity to talk about how they were. As there has been a few guests to the group recently it was felt that this would be a good space to do this. People talked about how hard it can be living with events from the past and how it still affect them now. Although hard for people, there was a sense of relief that they were able to get these feelings/emotions out. Seeing this encouraged others to do the same. When people felt down about themselves they said they used things people had made in the group to comfort themselves.

There were some great ideas on how people could use their talents to create possible business ventures for the future.

Looking at strengths

Today we had a big group, which was very encouraging. The support of the group was so evident today, when members showed how supportive they are when others are going through a hard time. The power of seeing people show others so much hope and compassion is very inspiring.

We had Geoffrey Baines along for the second week to show how us more about how we can find out what our strengths are. Geoffrey gave Paul an email link to the Strengths Finder website were he was asked to answer questions about himself. The questionnaire then compiles the answers into what Paul’s strengths were. Geoffrey then went over the findings with Paul so the group could see how it works. Paul found the findings to be accurate. More around the findings was discussed within the group. Geoffrey will come to the group again in the near future to do a longer piece of work with group members so they can all find their strengths within the group.

It was also great to have Keith (Napier University) along to discuss the ways to expand the group on-line.

Finally it’s great to say that we now have over 700 followers on our Twitter page, thanks everyone!!

Geoffrey Baines visits the Group

Today we had a really good group. Some of the topics discussed were isolation and being able to keep ourselves safe. Somebody from the group brought in some literature about Psychological Assistance dogs and how they are trained to help people with mental health issues which research has shown how having a pet companion helps improve health and well-being.

Geoffrey showed us an exercise on us being aware of what our strengths are. What energizes us is a strength. We discussed how sometimes as human beings, our default position focuses on the negative and find it much easier for someone else to see our strengths than for us to see our own. The group will take “Go live your strengths” sheets away to write some ideas over the next 7 days. It was great to have Geoffrey at the group and will see him next week for the second part of the strengths exercise.

25th Group Meeting today!

Today we welcomed 2 new members to the group, which is always great to see. We discussed how people can find it challenging to remain focussed and positive when life events happen which people feel can derail their achievements they have made. Two group members wrote very thoughtful poems/words about what this group means to them. Seeing and hearing things like this inspired the other group members.

We had June Dickson from Action on Depression as guest today who explained what her organisation does. As part of her work she facilitates the Living Life To The Full program, which uses CBT based tools. We did a little exercise to show how this works. Everybody found this exercise thought-provoking and interesting, in that we all responded to it in different ways defined by our character. Everybody really appreciated June’s input today, we all thought she was a star who passed on important tools to help us live in a way we aim to strive for.

Today also marked our quarter century of meetings, thanks for everyone who has contributed to the group, we very much appreciate it!

A reminder that due to the Easter break, the next group will take place on Thurs 11th April 2013

Thought-Provoking Group

Today we had our most attended group so far. It was nice to see people returning who had not been able to attend for a while. We looked at the ways people expressed their feelings/emotions and how some found it easier to write down how they feel in poems, or by using art materials. A couple of group members have come up with the idea of making music with the poems.

We looked at how hard it can be for people who have experienced trauma to be able to function while having to live with the mental scars from years of abuse. The group looked at recovery stories which inspired them and was also thought-provoking for them with their own experiences.

Next week we will have June Grant from Action on Depression as our guest.

Geese United

Watched lessons from geese today (and some funnies). We identify as a group that we need to stick together and get strength from each other. The geese accompany someone who is sick, that happens here. The helper is also helped, helping others influences your own healing, helping others gives you comfort within yourself.

Laughter and fun is also healing, great that is not always intense and heavy, fun is very important, if you have other things to think about thats good when you leave, something keeps pulling us back.

Great that we are able to welcome new people and have something to welcome them to, we have good foundations and much to offer. Amazing that people from around the world are linked in with us technologically.

The Group welcomes John Crawford (SAMH) as its guest

We had a very worthwhile group today with John Crawford as our guest. John was explaining to the group what SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) do. John was filmed (this will be put on this blog on the near future) talking about the new group he is going to start running in Glasgow. This group is called the Community Support Network Service. The group aims to support family members, friends, loved ones and carers of those who are living with thoughts of suicide.

John said he was very interested in hearing about the group member’s experiences with suicidal thoughts. John mentioned if group members have someone they can talk to when they feel really low and with whom they could construct a contract so that when things seem unbearable they can chat to that individual.

It was great to have John at the group as it helped people explore things that they maybe had not before.

Next Week we will have Lesley Galbraith from the Scottish Recovery Consortium as our guest.

Great group work today!

We had a really encouraging and inspiring group today. As one of the groups’ aims was to find a place of respite for individuals who felt of a break away we discussed issues around and discovered that there are actually places in Edinburgh that can provide this. I explained that i would look into this on behalf of the group. We did an excercise about our strengths and what other members thought our qualities are. We discussed how doing this excercise gives us a better understanding of our qualities as a times we feel we do not have any. The group members agreed that they would write a story/poem to express their experiences.

Next Week we have John Crawford from SAMH coming to visit the group.