Support Groups

Onyx Support Groups

 

Support groups bring together people who are going through or have gone through similar experiences. For example, this common ground might be depression, chronic medical conditions, addiction, bereavement or caregiving. A support group provides an opportunity for people to share personal experiences and feelings, coping strategies, or firsthand information about treatments. A support group among people with shared experiences may function as a bridge between medical and emotional needs.

 

Structure of support groups

Onyx Support groups are held online through platforms such as Zoom, and may be led by a professional facilitator, such as a nurse, social worker or psychologist, depending on the topic of support.

Some support groups may offer educational opportunities, such as a guest doctor, psychologist, nurse or social worker to talk about a topic related to the group's needs. Support groups are not the same as group therapy sessions. Group therapy is a specific type of mental health treatment that brings together several people with similar conditions under the guidance of a licensed mental health care provider.

 

 

Getting the most out of a support group

When you join a new support group, you may be nervous about sharing personal issues with people you don't know. At first, you may benefit from simply listening. Over time, however, contributing your own ideas and experiences may help you get more out of a support group. Try a support group for a few weeks. If it doesn't feel like a good fit for you, you can discuss different therapy options with us, by contacting admin@onyxstudents.com

 

Benefits of support groups

The common experience among members of a support group often means they have similar feelings, worries, everyday problems, treatment decisions or treatment side effects. Participating in a group provides you with an opportunity to be with people who are likely to have a common purpose and likely to understand one another.

Benefits of participating in a support group may include:

  • Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged

  • Reducing distress, depression, anxiety or fatigue

  • Talking openly and honestly about your feelings

  • Improving skills to cope with challenges

  • Staying motivated to manage conditions or stick to treatment plans

  • Gaining a sense of empowerment, control or hope

  • Improving understanding of a condition and your own experience with it

  • Learning about health, economic or social resources

Benefits of online groups include:

  • More frequent or flexible participation

  • Opportunities for people who may not have local face-to-face support groups

  • A degree of privacy or anonymity

 

Support groups vary in how they are organized and led. Before joining a support group, please see the frequently asked questions. 

FAQ's

  • Where does the group meet? Do I have to show my face? 

 

Online via the link that will be forwarded to you one hour before the meeting. This way ensures a more private support group. You can keep your video off if you prefer to remain unseen. 

  • At what times and how often does the group meet?

 

Support group times/dates and frequency depends on type of support group. For more information, please see the groups and dates below. 

  • Is there a facilitator or moderator?

 

Yes, there will be a facilitator for each group - these will be of different professions depending on the type of support. 

  • Has the facilitator undergone training?

 

Yes, the facilitator has undergone training to cover all aspects surrounding the topic, and is experienced or specialised in the topic.

  • Is a mental health expert involved with the group?

 

Yes. 

  • What are the guidelines for confidentiality?

 

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can have your video and speaker off and benefit from others discussing in the group. However it is recommended you at least participate through speaker to gain the most from the support groups. All participants are asked to sign a statement of confidentiality prior to attending, as all information disclosed within the support groups cannot be shared outside of the group. 

  • Are there established ground rules for group participation?

 

Yes. These are outlined prior to the support group to ensure rules are clear. Participants who do not follow the rules will be removed after two warnings and will be unable to attend any future support groups. These apply to: 

  • Disruptive group members

  • Those who dominate conversation by griping

  • Participants who break confidentiality

  • Emotional entanglement, group tension or interpersonal conflicts

  • Inappropriate or unsound medical advice

  • Competitive comparisons of whose condition or experience is worse

  • Individuals who behave in an disrespectful manner or who interrupt others

  • What is a typical meeting like?

 

For a typical support group, this starts off with a brief introduction including the rules outlined above and statement of confidentiality. The support group is then separated in sections to give others a chance to share stories, followed by exercises facilitated by the lead, discussing the weeks goals, but the meeting is different depending on support topic. 

  • What are the fees?

 

We charge £5.00 per person to attend a group. This is to cover any materials, facilitator costs and platform fees.