The Happy Place, online support group |
Type: Support Group, Sharing Space :

The Happy Place

The Happy Place Picture

Replies in 48 working hours.Accepts Participants via Email.

  • Fees Type: Free
  • City: Online Only
  • Facilitated By: Peers
  • Languages: English, Hindi, and Telugu
  • Meets: Every Sunday.
  • Participant Limit: 10
  • Notes: This support group meets 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM!
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  • What Is The Happy Place About?
    It’s a space for people with schizophrenia and their care-givers.
  • What is your founding story?
    Sravanthi lives with schizophrenia, and as a family we felt extremely isolated and alone in the journey. We also feel that the medicines cater to only a certain symptoms while the rest have to be navigated by ourselves. We started this support group with the hope that it could be like an extended family we never had, and a space for peer led learning and support and solidarity.
  • Who are the facilitators behind The Happy Place?
    • A.Sravanthi - pursuing BA in psychology, passionate about using my lived experience with schizophrenia to build a community of like-minded people that could be there for each other.
    • .Prasanthi- I am a caregiver, work in the field of rural livelihoods, deeply interested in conversations and work that make the world a better place.

    The facilitator keeps track of time, facilitates the conversation of ground rules, reinforce core values, leads by example in the way she shares, holds space for others and shows up in the group.

    Notes: The above information may change from time to time, and is shared with you to understand the background of where the support group comes from.

  • When was your support group founded? How has the journey been since then?
    A small group of us got together a few months ago with the idea of creating a community. We have been having conversations since then, doing some research around it. We finally had our first meeting in the first weekend of March. The first meeting itself was such a moving experience, it has felt like flood gates opening. It was evident that people were hungry to share and be heard and there is a big need for a space like this. We are committed to bettering ourselves and together with rest of the families co-creating a supportive community.
  • Who is your support group for?
    People with schizophrenia and their caregivers
  • Explain your group's approach towards helping a person's mental health care.

    The main idea is for people to hold space for each other, express thoughts and feelings that they may not have space to express otherwise. It is also a space for peer led learning. Its important to us that the listening is extremely non-judgemental and rooted in the fact that the illness is a spectrum, people are all very different so what works for one may not work for someone. But the idea is for us to listen to each other and and decide for ourselves what we want to take in and use in our lives. We are all for offering insights that are open for others to consider but wish to avoid any form of advice.

    Solidarity can be a very powerful thing, where just by virtue of relating to each other and feeling seen and heard we gather a lot of strength and comfort to navigate our challenges. That is what we see as our main purpose more than anything - to create a space for that solidarity.

  • What is your group's approach towards professional mental health care interventions?
    We do not currently have any trained people or professionals as part of the group. We do have a psychiatrist who we collaborate with who has many years of experience treating with schizophrenia, who we personally consult with and trust. We intend to refer any group members who need psychiatric help to him
  • What conversations is your support group not equipped to support?
    Conversations around medication- they’re best discussed with a doctor. Also, suicide. We also may not be able to have people with severe paranoia or symptoms that are so severe that they are unable to have coherent conversations. We will be happy to have their caregivers join the conversations though.
  • How does one sign up? What’s the coordination process like?
    Send us a text message. We have an initial one on one call with them to explain how the group works and align on the principles. And then they can join the WhatsApp chat and the coming support group sessions. Reach Out
  • Walk us through the average format of your group session.
    Facilitator facilitates the ground rules conversation. Group agrees on it/makes additions and deletions. The facilitator shares first to set the tone and lead by example. Then each group member is called on to speak, they can choose not to speak as well. Each member gets 10 minutes to share and ask the group any aspect they seek insights on. The group members get to share their thoughts. We close once everyone who wants to speak has had the chance to. The group and the facilitator take responsibility to stay guardians of the principles of the group, its ground rules. Any violation is flagged, and the conversation redirected after the principles are reinforced. Each week we may choose different topics to share/discuss on - for example coping mechanisms each person uses to deal with hallucinations, managing personal hygiene during down times, what can we do to prepare before an appointment with a psychiatrist etc
  • What are your home rules/values?
    Inclusion, respect and validation of diverse lived experiences and opinions and allowing them to co exist within our space, empathy, generous listening, confidentiality, appreciation for each other, compassion and solidarity
  • What do you hope for participants in your group to take back with them after a session?
    Feeling of being seen, heard

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