Our peer support groups offer a safe place to meet with others who have had similar experiences.
Each group runs slightly differently, as decided by the group members. Some groups prefer just to chat whilst others like to plan activities or discuss particular topics but all groups agree ground rules about how they want their group to be for example, keeping personal information private. All groups extend a warm welcome to new members and you can expect them to be non-judgmental because they have had similar experiences. We recognise that everybody’s needs and situations are different so we like to speak to you before you join one of the groups to check it’s what you are looking for and to give you the chance to ask any questions you might have.
What are the benefits of Peer Support groups?
- Mutual support in a non-judgemental setting, where confidentiality is respected.
- An opportunity to talk with other people who have ‘been there’, and willing to share their lived experiences of mental health difficulties.
- An opportunity to give as well as receive emotional support.
- Swapping experiences and learning new ways to deal with problems.
- Gaining inspiration from others and learning from their recovery journeys.
- Sharing information about mental health issues and local provision.
- Taking a more active role in health, wellbeing and recovery.
- Reduction in social isolation.
- An increase in social opportunities/social circle.
- Developing new skills.
- A sense of being in more control of one’s own recovery.
- Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
1 in 6 Gaming
1 in 6 Gaming is a peer support group for people who enjoy playing a wide range of board games. These include war games, card games and painting board game miniatures.
The group is self led and designed to break the stigma of mental health and anyone who is suffering from it.
1 in 6 gaming meet regulatory on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 – 9:30pm in Brierley Hill (DY5 1LA area).
If you would like to join the group please call Joe on 0743396555 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bi polar support Group
We are an approachable and understanding group of people, all of whom have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Through our discussions we share experiences and benefit through belonging to a group and not feeling isolated.
We meet every 1st Monday of the month 5:30 – 7pm
The Bold Room
(located at the end of the corridor by the toilets past Londis and the Post Office)
Merry Hill Shopping Centre
We would warmly welcome any new members
Building Bridges – Anxiety & Depression Self Help Group
Building Bridges is a peer support group for anxiety and depression.
At the group we can talk about some of the struggles we have faced and help one another to find new ways to manage.
We meet on the third and fourth Monday of the month from 7pm – 9pm in Stourbridge and you would be welcome to join us if you are finding your anxiety and/or depression difficult to manage.
Our friendly hoarding support group meets monthly to find positive ways to make our clutter work for us rather than against us.
We support each other with the struggles we have in letting go of household items.
In the first part of our meeting we are working through a self help guide together and discussing ways we can make a difference to our environment and how we feel about it. The second half of our meeting is more informal and we chat about our successes and challenges.
We meet in Stourbridge on the second Wednesday of the month from 10.30 until 12 noon.
New Connections – Anxiety & Depression support group
New Connections is a new peer support group for people affected by anxiety and depression, where you can come and share experiences in a safe, non-judgemental setting with other who understand.
The group meet every week on a Tuesday morning 11:30am – 1:30pm in Stourbridge.
Monthly drop-in workshops.
Poetry Workshops – Finding your voice
You don’t have to be an established writer to enjoy experimenting with writing poetry, even if for the first time.
These Poetry workshops are designed to help you be more creative, understand how poetry can be a great way to express your thoughts and feelings and to help you find your own unique ‘voice’ as a poet.
The facilitator, Ximena Holzer, is a published poet, whose 3 volumes of poetry have been published in Spain and Latin America. She writes about memory, family history and the interplay between the interior life and dark social forces.
She has led poetry workshops in Barcelona and more recently in Mexico, where she was invited to give readings at an International Poetry Festival. She has a great deal of experience in helping people to express themselves creatively using poetry.
The sessions are free and open to anyone who would like to play with poetry.
Poems by members of our poetry group
- As I sit, motionless as
- An unread book, yellowing
- In slow squares of sunlight
- Climbing unnoticed across the walls of my life,
- Like a bus full of orphaned umbrellas
- The people I should've been
- Crowd into corners
- And whisper accusations of daylight
- I've become a coffee cup ring
- On the tables edge
- No longer seen in the treacle creep of time
- A stopped clock
- Perhaps considered twice a day
- A bell unrung, a song unsung
- Depression, like a jealous lover
- Guarding my days
- In luxuriant inertia
- And the liver twisting pain
- That makes my desperation vicious
- A willing Rigby sibling
- Lonely and bleak
- As my own Christmas day beach
- It isn't sadness
- No. It isn't that
- Yet as another light fades
- On the waste of day
- And the ghosts of me fall silently back
- Into ranks of selves I've killed
- My metronome heart ticks stubbornly on
- Still here, Still here, Still here
- What now
- What now
- Who's next
Music Workshop Sessions
You don’t have to be a musician to have fun improvising with music. These music workshops are designed to promote creativity, self-expression and wellbeing, playing in a relaxed group setting with others. No musical skill or knowledge is necessary. If you do play an instrument (to any level), feel free to bring it along and develop your improvisational skills. If you’re a non-musician, prepare to discover the joys of making music with others in a safe, positive environment.
The facilitator, Tony Gillam, is a musician and mental health nurse. He is also an experienced teacher and group facilitator and his work with Kidderminster’s Music Workshop Project won an international award. Tony is able to offer one-off ‘taster’ sessions or a series of music workshop sessions.
Music for Wellbeing sessions at Dudley MIND - an evaluation
By Tony Gillam
I have been providing Music for Wellbeing sessions for Dudley MIND since March 2018 as part of the afternoon 'drop-ins' at Henry Court. Sessions have taken place monthly (with occasional breaks in the summer and around Christmas) on Thursdays from 3.30pm-5pm. In recent months it has been decided to run the sessions every four weeks (rather than monthly) so as to avoid clashes with other commitments, but there is still some flexibility about dates
The sessions appear to be well-received by service users, with informal positive comments from participants. The Music for Wellbeing sessions have also provided a novel and valued learning experience for nursing and social work students on placement - or volunteering - with Dudley MIND. Reference was made to the project in an article published in the Journal of Public Mental Health called 'Enhancing public mental health and wellbeing through creative arts participation' (Gillam, 2018) and also in an interview with myself on the blog of the Arts Health Early Career Research Network. Thus, it could be argued the project has raised the profile of the work of Dudley MIND more widely.
Some 18 months since the start of the project it was felt it would be helpful to carry out a simple evaluation to elicit participants' views about the sessions. At the end of the session on 10 October 2019 – World Mental Health Day – I invited the group to provide some feedback. Participants were asked two questions to prompt discussion:
- What do you like about the Music for Wellbeing sessions?
- Do you have any suggestions for anything we should do differently as a group (or any suggestions for improvements)?
The group seem satisfied with the frequency and duration of sessions and with the juxtaposition of improvisatory music with familiar songs which participants choose to perform. They appear to enjoy the variety of instruments provided by the facilitator and by the balance of learning/educational opportunities with what might be called the therapeutic benefits of feeling uplifted by the process of music-making as a group. Participants reported positive effects on thinking ("clears my mind") and mood ("mesmerising and uplifting") and acknowledge that, while a music-based group might not be or everyone, they value their own participation in an arts activity group.
Sharing our good peer support practice
221 Hagley Road
Stourbridge, DY8 2JP