If you're planning on coming out to one of our Support Group meetings, it may help to know what to expect. Check out the rules and a sample outline below to get a better idea!
Rules for Support Group Meetup
1. Confidentiality – everything said at a mhsn.org Meetup is confidential, unless otherwise stated. Additionally no photos can be taken or recording devices of any kind can be used at our support meetings.
2. Be non-judgmental of others.
3. Listen - please avoid interrupting others - The facilitator(s) will do their best to "chair" the meeting. The goal is we each take roughly equal share of time speaking.
4. Mindset: Come to serve and be served - The Golden Rule.
5. Everyone's voice counts! Democracy.
6. You are entitled to leave at any time, however it would be helpful to know why you are leaving as the feedback helps us.
7. No abuse to self or others. This would include showing up with an offensive odor due to lack of hygiene; please respect your self and the group by avoiding this.
8. Please no graphic emotional stories in the group that can scar others minds. Instead, please talk to a therapist or someone you might meet at our group that is willing to talk to you one on one, knowing that your story could scar their mind.
9. Listen to others' “suggestive solutions” at your own risk. DO NOT GIVE “ADVICE.” We can only give “suggestive solutions.”
10. NO SHARING OF ANY PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS. THIS IS ILLEGAL!
11. No sharing of videos, pictures, audio or any type of media that could be negatively triggering to other members.
12. Although we respect everyone's right to make their own decisions on religion and politics we ask you to please "park the need to discuss those beliefs at the door" for our support meetings. Politics and religion are not discussed at our support meetings.
13. If you are not someone with mental health challenges - what we call a "mental health peer," you may be asked to leave the group.
14. People who speak negatively about the good intentions of the MHSN organization may be asked to leave the organization.
15. Members or leaders who use the meetup messaging system for reasons other than to support the Mission, Principles, Values and Goals and spirit of MHSN may be removed without notice.
16. We love new volunteers! However to have a LEADERSHIP role in areas of facilitation, event hosting or committee chairs, MHSN.org requires you to attend some MHSN.org groups and/or become familiar with the founder of MHSN.org and/or its board of directors before you can be approved as a leader.
What Happens at a MHPSO Support Meetup?
A. Group Begins at 7:00 PM
• Introduction by Facilitator
o Explanation of the group format and guidelines
• Opening Exercises/Icebreakers:
o These include a brief introduction, sharing only as much as anyone is comfortable with. Other icebreakers can be centred around goals, expectations of the group, a quick check-in.
B. Break for 10-20 minutes
• Opportunity to converse informally, network, get a coffee/tea, or just relax.
C. Reconvene for Second Part of Meeting
• Open floor discussion
o This is an opportunity to bring forward any concerns or questions you may have to the group. This is the time to share what you’re dealing with and to ask for feedback or help if you want it. As a group, we are here to listen and offer our own experiences and feedback if appropriate. We can offer only "Suggestive Solutions" and perspectives based on our own experience. It is up to each person to decide what they like and what they want or need to take with them.
D. Check-Out/Feedback at 9:20 PM
• Feedback/Check-Out Exercise
o We go around the room and give everyone an opportunity to give feedback and a quick “check-out.” You can share what you got from the group, what you liked, what you didn’t like, and offer suggestions and/or give feedback as to how you improve the group.
E. Group Ends at 9:30 PM
• Room is available until 10 PM for conversation and networking.