Relax, share and grow
Reprinted from "Treatment for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3 (1), p. 31
Moving Beyond, a support group of the Mood Disorders Association of BC, has been going strong for two years now. Members of the group have similar life experiences, and our shared mental health concerns allow us to support each other in times of confusion. Together, we discover new ways to appreciate life and move beyond all-too-familiar challenges. You don’t need a mental health diagnosis to take part. The only condition is that you be a young adult between the ages of 17 and 29.
A word from the facilitator . . .
Being a group facilitator for Moving Beyond has been very rewarding. Moving from being a participant to gradually taking on more responsibility in the facilitation role has been a very empowering experience.
Share the common bond of experiencing or suspecting what is known as a psychiatric experience. With our peers, we transition through different stages of recovery together.
What I enjoy most when attending the group is how easy it is to laugh and be in the present moment for the two hours I’m there. Whether the group is involved in some kind of activity or just socializing, everyone has a part to play.
Learning to become aware
Learning is another important aspect encouraged by Moving Beyond. We learn through sharing our experiences—sharing what worked well for us when we were in circumstances similar to that of another group member.
Sharing our experiences
We do rounds, each of us telling our stories about how the previous week has been for us. This is a time to listen and a time to be heard. To have our stories heard is to speak our truth. Our experiences aren’t denied, and our symptoms become familiar—they are experiences common to those in the group.
Many members are dedicated to coming to Moving Beyond week after week. We are “The Regulars.” Seeing these familiar faces creates such a sense of community. And there are others who drop in to see what Moving Beyond is all about. So come check us out; see what it’s all about. We would be happy to have you as part of our community—as a “Regular.”
About the Author
Christie is a mental health worker and has been a part of Moving Beyond for two years. She is currently working on a documentary about youth and mental illness intended to improve education and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues
MDA’s Moving Beyond Support Group for Young Adults (17 to 29 years) Monday evenings, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Light refreshments served Contact Johannes at 604-873-0103 or e-mail [email protected]