Support Group Guidelines
MDSG CORE BELIEFS:
- Just as each individual is unique, so is their experience of a mood disorder.
- Through the simple act of listening to each other’s stories we support and learn from each other.
- By sharing our experiences, we learn a great deal about mood disorders and how to manage them.
- By focusing on our strengths and what we have actually gained from our struggles and journeys we promote hope and self-acceptance.
MDSG SUPPORT GROUP GUIDELINES:
- Facilitators are volunteer leaders, not professionals.
- They do not have all the answers, they are simply there to keep discussion on track and help maintain a safe, productive and respectful environment.
- Treat each other with kindness and compassion. Most of us are feeling vulnerable.
- Respect the opinions and experiences of others as we want them to respect ours.
- Don’t monopolize. We are generous in the sharing process.
- Don’t judge. Instead, we try to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes.
- Are patient. Each of us is trying to do the best we can at a given moment.
- Are good listeners. We all want to feel heard.
- Don’t tell someone else what to do. We Let others come to their own conclusions.
- Don’t give advice. What is helpful is speaking from our own experiences.
- Maintain confidentiality. What we say here, stays here. [While we ask participants to maintain confidentiality, we are unable to guarantee it.]
- Avoid the following topics as they may unintentionally harm some participants: politics, graphic sexual themes, suicidal methods, and details of traumatic events.
- Understand that the recovery process is unique and personal for each of us.
- Try to maintain an environment that is hopeful and optimistic, while fully keeping space for those who are feeling hopeless.