We may have been physically apart during 2020 but we have still been there for each other and nothing illustrates this more than our Peer Support Groups at CPSL Mind which, like the majority of our services, have taken place online for much of this year. For Kate, an attendee of our Wellbeing Peer Support Group, she says, “peer support has changed my life”.
After receiving the news of her cancer diagnosis, Kate found that her mental health declined and, in March 2020, she decided to self-refer into our Wellbeing Peer Support group. The group provides a safe and confidential space to discuss different aspects of managing the five ways to wellbeing – connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give – with the aim of making positive life changes.
Reflecting on her six months in the group, Kate says, “It was good to talk to people, share stories, check in and support each other. You feel like you are not on your own anymore, that you belong somewhere where you are understood. All of the group facilitators were amazing, full of empathy, they were listening, encouraging and making us feel good about ourselves.”
For some, having the fortnightly sessions online was a positive as it meant attending became much more accessible and less daunting. Kate says, “The fact that sessions were on Zoom made it even more beneficial for me as I have struggled with getting to sessions. Being able to just turn on the computer while sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea to connect with people who struggled like me was the best that could have happened.”
The impact of the group has been huge for Kate who says, “My life has been turned around. I feel happy and positive and I look forward to the future. The fact you get quite a lot of sessions and there are other options after you finish, means you are relaxed and comfortable. No-one is rushing you out of the door.”
If you’re interested in connecting with others, take a look at our Good Life Service which includes our Peer Support Groups, Good Mood Cafes and Open Door calm spaces.