Frequently Asked Questions

Who can attend BIG?

We are open to anyone aged 18 and over who has a mental health condition.

Do I have to pay to attend the groups?

No, there is no charge but we ask for a donation to cover the cost of refreshments and room hire.

Will I have to speak?

No, you will not be under any pressure to say anything unless you want to.

What does “service user” mean?

It means somebody who uses services for their mental health. For example, some people may see a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist or attend an organisation to support them. When you attend our groups you are a service user of BIG.

Can I come to the groups even if I do not have a psychiatrist or a mental health worker?

Yes, you do not need to be seeing a professional or be on medication in order to come to the groups. If you consider yourself to have a mental health problem, whether mild or severe, you are very welcome to attend.

Can I bring somebody with me?

The groups are for people with mental health problems. However, if you needs a support worker or carer in order to attend the group, that person may accompany you for the first session.

I have been very ill in the past but would like to attend to prevent becoming very ill again. Can I come to the groups?

Yes, people who attend are at different stages of their recovery. This is one of the strengths as we learn from one another and provide hope and mutual support. By attending the groups we can maintain and strengthen our recovery to prevent going into crisis.

What does peer support mean?

Peer support may be defined as the help and support that people with lived experience of a mental illness are able to give each other. It may be social, emotional or practical support but importantly the support is mutually offered and reciprocal allowing peers to benefit from support whether they are giving or receiving. Mental Health Foundation 

Will the professionals at the recovery group give me advice about my medication and my own illness?

The professionals who give talks are not there to deal with individual cases, they come to the groups voluntarily in their own personal time and help in a general way but you must consult your own clinician for specific advice.