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"Creating Friendships"

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Talk, chat & chill

We were keenly aware that allowing negative thoughts to surface in awareness could compromise safety of an individual, so we introduced a safeguarding technique.

Our facilitator has built up a rapport with members in a variety of settings and they trust her. Sessions involve 2 hours once a month.

•We begin with talking about any issues that members are facing.

•Then a short guided meditation. Focus is on breathing and feeling relaxed.

•Members are invited to join in some gentle stretching exercises.

•An art or craft exercise is used to close the session and process any troubling thoughts.

We found that all those attending do not receive the opportunity of such support elsewhere. There is a distribution of capacities in the group and this difference of ability offers a variety of perspectives. Individuals learn from each other and by immersing themselves trust the process and as a result open up.

 

Monitoring

We keep records of issues discussed and members attending.

 

Evaluation

This is conducted every 3-4 months and will involve a 1:1 interview with our lead facilitator, who does not regularly attend the sessions. The focus of this is to find out how effective our meditation strategy has been at supporting an individual cope.

 

Our long-term aim is for individuals to transfer the process to their personal circumstances. An advantage to having a monthly session is that an individual can integrate the meditation tool into an everyday habit.

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"I don't know what I would do without this group.  I come here feeling down & I always leave with a big smile on my face - the people cheer me up no end." Tony, member since 1999

Structure of sessions

Monitoring & Evaluation

Copyright Open Minds 2016

Registered chairty no: 1079009

Framework

 

This project resulted from a consultation process in 2014 with our members. They asked for a service that addressed their personal issues outside of Open Minds activities. We looked at various coping strategies and peer support mechanisms.

 

From talking to members on a 1:1 basis the result of their issue was a heightened state of anxiety and we thought the best way of addressing this was through a meditation group.

2016-09-27 13.09.18