Group Rules, Boundaries and values

The purpose of Mind Space MK is to offer peer support primarily around anxiety and depression to the local community through the use of open-minded, non-judgemental group space, however, all mental health conditions are welcome.

The group aims to use creativity to help express and explore mental health. Guest speakers who have an association with mental health (either as lived experience, service professionals, carers etc) will be invited to give a talk at each session to provide insight and information around mental health to those attending the group.

  • Who you see, what you see and what is said in the group is strictly confidential
  • The group is for over 18’s. Friends, carers and family are welcome to join in. Under 18’s MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian if attending.
  • Mobile phones need to be switched off or put on vibrate during the group to avoid distraction
  • Challenge the issue not the person. Everyone is entitled to speak or not speak within the group and treated with respect. This includes and is not limited to intimidating behaviour such as shouting and swearing.
  • Please be on time for each session, if you are over 10 minutes late for the start of the session, you will be expected to wait until the break. Times/dates can be found on the contact page.
  • No violence, verbal aggression or deliberate damage to property or harm to self will be accepted.
  • Alcohol, narcotics and other substances must not be brought into the building or be consumed prior to attending.
  • Coordinators are available before and after the group for 30 minutes for individual queries. Outside of the group the phone will be available from 9am-9pm Mon-Sun. Email is available 24/7.
  • All information kept anonymous and confidential unless a member makes threats to harm themselves or somebody else. In this instance, the least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented will be put into motion. Refer to confidentiality policy.
  • People are supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent.
  • Do not interrupt other group members.

Confidentiality Policy

Mind Space MK Confidentiality Policy

We believe that confidentiality is fundamental to our work. Group sessions strive to always offer a safe place. Group Facilitators respect the information that they are told within the group session and will not pass this information on to individuals outside of their Mind Space MK peer support network[1].

We ask all individuals at group sessions to respect other people’s right to speak in the knowledge that their words will not leave the room. We are unable however to vouch for other individuals at the group session. As such, Mind Space MK cannot guarantee confidentiality at our group sessions.

Group Facilitators have a support network within the Mind Space MK team. They are encouraged to use this network to discuss issues that arise in sessions. This enables them to be supported through their role and to help their development as Group Facilitators so that the groups they run for you are always improving.

There are a few circumstances under which Mind Space MK will be unable to maintain confidentiality.

In an immediate emergency, such as an individual being taken seriously ill during a group session, Group Facilitators will contact the emergency services.

If Group Facilitators are concerned that someone is in a situation where their own life may be at risk or they are at risk of harming another person, they may break confidentiality. Wherever possible this will be done in consultation with the individual of concern. Group Facilitators will initially ask for consent to break confidentiality. The Group Facilitators will explain their concerns and ask the individual about their preference regarding further support, this may include, for example, contacting emergency services, the individual’s GP surgery or university provided support services.

If Group Facilitators are made aware that a child is in immediate danger or harm, they will have to break confidentiality in accordance with the Children Act 1989.

Please note that our Group Facilitators can only offer support within the group session. Our Group Facilitators are trained to provide a supportive community space. They are not trained to identify acute mental health risk or respond in crisis situations. If you are feeling like you want to harm yourself, please consider that many people who have attempted or come close to suicide look back with gratitude that they were not successful in acting on their intentions. If you are feeling actively suicidal now:

  • Make a deal with yourself that you will not act just yet.
  • Tell someone else how you are feeling or find someone to be with you.
  • If that is not possible right now, phone:
    • Samaritans: 116 123
    • NHS non-emergency: 111
    • HOPEline UK: 0800 068 41 41 / text: 0776 209 697

Research into mental health suggests that broad support networks can help recovery from and management of mental health difficulties. The Mind Space MK support group might be part of this picture. Your wider support network might include:

  • Friends and family
  • Your GP
  • Counselling/wellbeing services

 Mind Space MK routinely shares anonymised information about the running of peer support groups with the community. Group Facilitators, or Mind Space MK staff, may inform the community support services about events or incidents relating to the peer support group. This information does not include details that would identify the support group attendees.

[1] A group’s Mind Space MK peer support network may include the Mind Space MK staff team, the group’s designated supervisor and the co-facilitators. The designated supervisor may be part of the national Mind Space MK team or may be a member of your community’s support team.