WeSurvive: Adult survivors of child sexual abuse | TheMindClan
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  • Fees Type: Free
  • City: Mumbai
  • Facilitated By: Mix Of Professionals & Facilitators
  • Languages: English, and Hindi
  • Meets: Once a month
  • Participant Limit: 10
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  • What Is WeSurvive About?
    Providing a safe space for adult survivors of child sexual abuse to share and feel supported.
  • What is your founding story?
    Co-founders of Open Minds Foundation and facilitators of the support group are: Maya Menon, a survivor and yoga trainer and Sarika Pandit, Psychologist and Counsellor. Maya was the one who wanted to work in the space of child abuse prevention, and when she approached me with the idea, I joined her, since it is a space that is important to me too, having family members who are survivors.
  • When was your support group founded? How has the journey been since then?
    A year ago. It’s not been easy since there is resistance in coming to the forum as it can be difficult for survivors to be seen. We have had advocates and survivors such as Harish Iyer, Sheetal Bhan join to help spread the word. We have had better turn out with online Zoom as a medium since it may feel safer for many survivors, so we intend to continue using this mode.
  • Who is your support group for?
    Adult survivors of child sexual abuse.
  • Explain your group's approach towards helping a person's mental health care.
    The group’s approach is based on Rogerian principles of empathy, respect, non judgemental attitude, genuineness. The hope is that through the manifestation of these values, participants would feel less alone, more understood, and emotionally held.
  • What is your group's approach towards professional mental health care interventions?
    I am a mental health professional, we do ensure the use of certain grounding and relaxation techniques, and psychoeducation on trauma and abuse. We also have two other MHPs on hand to provide psychological first aid, should a participant feel flooded. We tell the participants upfront that if they do feel overwhelmed and wish to leave the group, to let us know via message and that we would put them onto the MHP on hand.
  • What conversations is your support group not equipped to support?
    We do tell participants that this is not group therapy. And we do tell them that within the group, we may not be equipped to provide support for conversations for self harm / harm to others, that we do have mental health professionals affiliated with us whom we can put them through to should they wish to talk about the same.
  • How does one sign up? What’s the coordination process like?
    We leave behind our mobile number (Maya and I). When somebody pings, we thank them for reaching out and then ask them to send a mail regarding their name, and age, since the forum is not open to those below 18. Once they confirm, we share our protocols and the zoom link. Reach Out
  • Walk us through the average format of your group session.
    We welcome the group with an introduction of Maya and me, our hopes for the support group, the values we stand for. We then talk about the importance of confidentiality, respect for each other’s stories, non judgemental attitude. We also discuss safety, having MHPs onboard, what we are equipped to handle and what we are not. We then teach a grounding and a relaxation technique. Post that, the discussion is organic. We tell partcipants that there is no compulsion to share. From there on, the format is semi structured. We use psychoeducation and relaxation techniques. We typically end with a grounding technique and details of MHPs they can reach out to for support.
  • What are your home rules/values?
    The group’s approach is based on Rogerian principles of empathy, respect, non judgemental attitude, genuineness. The hope is that through the manifestation of these values, participants would feel less alone, more understood, and emotionally held.
  • What do you hope for participants in your group to take back with them after a session?
    Landing the messages of : a) It’s not your fault, no matter how you felt or how your body responded or what anyone may have told you b) You are not alone.

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