Busy group!

Today was a very productive meeting. It was great to welcome a new member along who was made to feel very welcome. Due to the group talking about what helps one another whn feeling down, someone brought in a crochet, a poem and a mobile display to express the way she feels. The group was very touched as a lot of though went into this. This is something we are actively encouraging in the group for people to share what helps them survive through difficult times.

We had Geoffrey from Strengths base as our guest this week. He wanted to introduce himself to the group before coming back in April to help work on what the different strengths are in the group.

We discussed with Keith (Edinburgh Napier University) how the group could work on their life experiences into anonymous stories that could be used by drama students to work on. There is a positive feeling amongst the group that things are taking off in so many ways.

Inspiring Ideas

Today we were having a laugh trying to figure out how to access twitter and the blog from our mobiles, but here we are we made it!!
We had a lively, creative discussion with loads of ideas for future possible directions with the Choose Life Group. We have many potential projects. It feels empowering how we can reach out and support each other in the group, but we can offer the support in a wider way.
We discussed our creative skills; poetry, dance, music and the inspirations of the countryside and fishing.

Self Harm Discussion

Today we had Angela Voulgari  from Penumbra in the group today to explain what her Organisation does and to talk about self harm.  A common misconception about Penumbra is that it is a service only for teenagers who self harm.  Angela was able to explain that the organisation works with lots of different areas supporting people’s Mental Health and Wellbeing.  We discussed the reasons why people may self harm.  People in the group discussed how they had possibly behaved recklessly in the past and wondering if this had been a form of self harm.  We discussed if an individual has a drink/drug problem if this then also a form of self harm?  Some things that may help people who self harm are having support, distracting yourself, doing things you enjoy that will keep you safe and last of all to learn to believe that there is hope.

For more information on Penumbra please visit http://www.penumbra.org.uk/content/home

Group welcomes new members!

It was excellent today to welcome two new members to the group.  We looked at the way society deals with the stigma of mental health and ways in that people expressed themselves in our culture.

We looked at how sometimes as human beings we sometimes play our talents down and dismiss our strengths all to readily, tending sometimes to focus more on “what we can’t do”.  At times it may feel easier for someone else to comment on your strengths as at times we do not readily see them ourselves.  Photography and music were two things that people felt inspired them.  Work is still going on regarding the Choose Life @ Simpson House Application for Smart phones users.


Next week’s guest will be Angela voulgari from Penumbra



Relaxation techniques

We had a really worthwhile meeting today focussing on what helps when we feel down.  The things that people found most helpful were music, movies and nature.  Group members felt that these passions and interests helped them forget issues they were going through and made them feel a bit better within themselves. 


We had our first guest to the group – Diane Lee from CREW.   Diane showed the group how to use relaxation techniques and the benefits of learning using them to use in the future.


Our next group guest will be Angela voulgari from Penumbra on Thurs 7th Feb.

First Group of 2013!

We had a very good first group of 2013.  We welcomed new members to the group who were made to feel very welcome and who’s contribution to th e group was very  much appreciated.  It was so powerful and heartening to see the way that group members supported each other to feel less alone.  With it being the start of a new year ,we talked about what people felt they would like to achieve in 2013.

We discussed  ideas for guest speakers which would in turn help the group achieve some of its aims.  Paul and Liz will meet up with prospective guest speakers over the next few weeks to arrange a time for them to attend group.  Diane Lee will be our first guest to the group next week were she will discuss the benefits of using relaxation techniques.

Help over Christmas and New Year

If you need help immediately over Christmas and New Year, here are some local services:

Police, Fire, Ambulance –  for emergencies Tel:   999

Mental Health Assessment Service (MHAS) – Tel:  0131 537 6000

NHS 24 – Tel:  08454 24 24 24

Emergency Social Work Service – Tel:  0800 731 6969

Edinburgh Samaritans – Tel:  0131 221 9999

Castlecliff Hostel – Tel:  0131 225 1643 (provides emergency accommodation)

Housing Options Team – Tel:  0800 032 5968 (out of hours service)

National Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline – Tel:  0800 027 1234

UK Domestic Abuse Violence Helpline – Tel:  0808 2000 247

Breathing Space:  0800 83 85 87, Mon-Thurs 6pm-2am, Fri 6pm-Mon 6am (emotional support over the phone)



Festive period info

Simpson House Groups 2013

We re-open Monday 7th Jan

SMART starts Tuesday 8th Jan

(check http://www.smartrecovery.org.uk/ for details of meetings over Christmas.  Jardine will be posting this info)

Choose Life starts Thursday 10th Jan

(check blog over holidays)


Crew festive opening

Diane will be at Crew between Christmas and New Year if you need to chat. First SMART group is on Wednesday 9th Jan


Serenity Cafe Festive Opening

We are providing a safe drink and drug free space on Christmas Day 12-4pm and New Years Day 12-4pm

We will be open to 4pm Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

Our Hogmanay Spectacular is on as usual – a family friendly celebration – 7pm til after the bells £5 per person £2 per child



Group starts again Monday 14th January at 10-10.45am in the Grassmarket