Guidance and Counselling Forum- Spring Meeting
Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 9:37AM
Peter Beven

BA Guidance and Counselling forum at Northumbria University:

Self Help Groups


The focus of the Spring Forum was the work of ‘Self Help Groups’; people from a range of groups joined us to talk about their groups, explaining how they came about, what support they offered and how people could make contact.

The groups are all run by people with personal experience of the issues that the group is focused on and are not clinical groups, but focused on peer support and help. Aims of the groups include giving a voice to mental health service users, reducing the stigma of mental health and supporting gay or bi-sexual men or men who are questioning their sexuality. These groups have originated through the recognition of specific needs, for example a ‘Self-injury Group’, which was set up when someone came for help to an existing group and a gap in provision was recognised.

The groups are informal; meetings are held in friendly welcoming environments, for example local cafes. People can attend to find help with an issue, but are just as welcome when everything is going fine. A range of activities and support are on offer: Information; guest speakers; trips, games and fundraising events. Attendance is voluntary and some people are there regularly, while others drop in as and when.


The groups that presented at the forum included:

For more information on these groups and other groups in the region click on the link below:

If you are interested in joining our lively forum meetings, please contact Sarah Lonbay who will provide details of forthcoming meetings

Article originally appeared on Guidance & Counselling Matters (
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