Aware Support & Self Care Groups offer an opportunity for people, over the age of 18 years, to talk openly about depression, bipolar disorder, other mood conditions and their impact. Peers share their experience and understanding and offer an exchange of thoughts and techniques around self-care and resilience in a supportive, confidential and proactive environment.
If you are under 18 years of age, please contact childline for support.
When you arrive at a Support & Self Care Group, you are greeted by two Aware volunteer facilitators and provided with literature about Aware services. The facilitators open the meeting, providing an overview of what you can expect.
Facilitators introduce themselves by their first name only and invite all attending to do likewise. The meeting is declared open to anyone who would like to share. Someone in the group shares their thoughts and feelings. To gain understanding for the group, a facilitator may ask some questions to clarify what has been shared. The facilitator asks the person sharing if they want feedback from the group and if so, opens to the group for their thoughts and support. A facilitator briefly summarises any options offered by the group before inviting others to share.
A proactive approach is used throughout the meeting in which participants can express emotion, acknowledge feelings, question thoughts and beliefs and focus on helpful actions they can take.
Who can attend?
Any adult who is experiencing depression, bipolar disorder or mood related condition is welcome. No referral is needed although if attending a doctor or therapist, Aware recommends that you keep them informed.
All Support & Self Care Group attendees agree to keep everything that is said and takes place at the meeting completely confidential. This is essential in allowing each person the safety to express whatever he or she would like to say.
There are limits to confidentiality for the group facilitators.
Respectful and supportive environment
To ensure a positive experience for all, we ask the below:
- Participants and facilitators have respect for each other’s time by being punctual, arriving and finishing the meeting on time, as well as allowing all group members time to share, if they wish. Most meetings last 90 minutes
- To be tolerant and respectful of one another and acknowledge differing opinions
- To avoid mentioning doctors, hospitals and medications by name, as what suits one person may not suit another
- To be mindful that everyone attending has the opportunity to contribute but no-one will ever be forced to do so
* Please note that anyone who has consumed alcohol or used other recreational drugs will be asked to leave. Aware reserves the right to refuse admission.
We also have a specialist group: