Frequently Asked Questions
Are the sessions at set times?
The sessions happen on the same day at the same time every week. MhIST is however closed on public holidays.
How can I find and access the venue where the support takes place?
The self-help groups are located near to Bolton Town Centre on the first floor of a three-storey building. The location is wheelchair
Who leads or moderates the group?
The group is peer led, with a trained facilitator. The facilitator has personal experience of the mental health issue that the group relates to. The facilitator’s main role is to engage members of the group and to provide direction.
What benefits are there to be had from attending a self-help group?
The group allows sharing of personal experiences in a safe, secure, friendly environment.
Who can attend the self-help groups?
The groups are open to people aged 18+. There are no exclusions other than the minimum age due to MhIST not working with children and being a charity that welcomes diversity.
How many people take part?
Generally, the number of people in a group varies. Any number from 2 up to 15 attend the group. Factors that can influence the number of attendees include day, time, and weather.
What might I be asked to do in the sessions?
Things that are undertaken during the sessions are varied depending on the group being attended. For example, card making, colouring, and knitting can be done while attending the craft and social group. While the opportunity to share concerns, coping strategies can happen in another group. Participation is not mandatory, however taking part is beneficial.
What can I do if I have a question, concern or complaint?
Questions, concerns, complaints, and suggestions should be addressed with the group facilitator in the first instance. MhIST has a complaint procedure that is available upon request.
How is the support structured?
Support is structured in an informal setting. Groups are peer led, in that attendees have experience of the mental health issue relating to the group that are attended.
Can I use the support for as long as I need to, or is it limited?
Some groups do not have an end date. While other groups run for a specific number of weeks. There are options to join other groups if a time-specific group is attended.
What are self-help support groups?
Self-help support groups are informal supportive gatherings of people with similar experience of mental health issues.
Who can refer people to the self-help groups?
Referrals are received from a wide variety of organisations. For example, GP surgeries, Mental Health Practitioners, Housing Associations, Department of Work and Pensions and friends. MhIST also allows for self-referral.
Can I bring someone with me?
You can bring someone for support during the first couple of sessions. This can be a family member, support worker or friend. The main aim of attending the group though is to provide you with a safe, secure place for you alone with a group of like-minded people.