Facilitation

“As a facilitator, (Sarah) conducted herself with empathy, warmth, kindness and integrity” – Peer

“Unfailingly warm, compassionate… manner infused with gentle humour” – Peer

“Vividly displays compassion and wisdom” – Carer

I am passionate about peer-based groups. I have been involved with Hearing Voices groups since 2009. Inspired by their extraordinary success worldwide, and their impressive outcomes with regards to suicide and hospitalisation rates for members, I analysed the underlying principles of successful peer based groups. Using these principles, I have provided training, directly founded new groups, and been contracted to support existing groups for people experiencing a variety of challenging or isolating experiences. I am experienced in both face to face and online facilitation, short term and ongoing, social connection, community development, working groups, and structured educational groups.

Hire me to:

  • Design, deliver, or evaluate a group
  • One to one or small group peer mentoring for group facilitators
  • Creating the support infrastructure for a group such as marketing, illustrations, an online presence, and email list
  • Facilitate safe spaces for reflection and discussion eg. at conferences
  • Be a guest speaker at your group – see my Talks and Workshops

 

Snapshot:

Logo for group The Gap

In 2012 I sought personal support as a participant in a group called Sappho’s Settee, supported by the Bfriend project through Uniting Communities for same-sex attracted women aged 25-40. I was wanting to learn more about queer culture and to gather support to come out as bisexual to my family and friends. I found the group a mixed experience, informative but also strongly geared towards a lesbian identity and not very welcoming for bisexuals, and unfriendly to discussions of mental health. After several staff changes the group was left with no facilitator and the prospect of being closed down. Myself and another skilled peer facilitator Lisa Hayton decided to take on the group. I created the rainbow bird illustration for the group resources, changed the name to The Gap to represent the gap in services for SSA women in this age bracket as Sappho is a term needing queer cultural knowledge to understand, and took the members out to coffee for an informal consultation. It transpired that all existing members identified as having mental health struggles and none identified as lesbian. We restructured the group function to reflect this and continued facilitating it in a voluntary capacity for 10 months, with excellent attendance and feedback.

Experience:

  • Sound Minds, Mental Illness Fellowship of SA: for people who hear voices or have other psychotic experiences (face to face)
  • Bridges, The Dissociative Initiative: for people who experience dissociation and/or multiplicity (face to face, and peer facilitator mentoring)
  • DI Open Discussion Group, and The DI Closed Group, The Dissociative Initiative: for people who experience dissociation and/or multiplicity (online, 1,300+ members)
  • Echoes, The Dissociative Initiative: for people who experience dissociation and/or multiplicity (peer facilitator mentoring with interstate facilitator)
  • Blue Skies, ACEDA: for people with food and/or body image issues (face to face, email, and peer facilitator mentoring)
  • The Gap, Bfriend: for same-sex attracted women aged 18-40 (face to face, peer facilitator mentoring)