So here in Hampshire we have been running regular groups based on the concept of Open Dialogue. The funding that we had for these have now come to an end and we are looking for ways to continue this amazing work. It has been a tremendous journey!
Mental health is often seen as the domain of service providers, carers and the people who use the mental health services. However, within communities there is a huge diversity of knowledge and experience that can be used to transform the way we discuss and develop our understanding of mental health generally.
During 2015 the Good Mental Health Cooperative hosted three events using a powerful open dialogue and participatory process called ‘Trialogue’ in Portsmouth. In 2016 we’re continuing to run Trialogue events in Portsmouth, sponsored by Portsmouth City Council, and we also introduced Trialogue events in Southampton which were an equal success.
‘Trialogue’ groups already exist in many places in Europe and can help communities to change the perception that only those who work in the field of mental health are the experts in mental health.
A ‘Trialogue’ group is a neutral space where communities can gather to develop
Trialogue meetings are welcoming and inclusive of all community members, including mental health service users, carers, families friends, professionals and anyone with an interest in good mental health and wellbeing in the community.their understanding of mental health issues, including the challenges of maintaining good mental health, and to transform thinking on developing better services and healthy communities.
Mental health is everyone’s business, regardless of their background and experience
My role has been to facilitate the discussions, Sandy took notes and Carolyn would wonder around ensuring everyone who wanted to talk got the ‘talking stick’. The notes from the discussion that took place, have been sent to influential people locally in mental health policy and services, placing a political aspect to the dynamics of the group.
Interestingly the two groups from Portsmouth and Southampton were so different to facilitate! both equally invigorating, but one was more reserved than the other and the trends of conversation differed. Clare Holloway & Emma Paxton created amazing works of art and every session left me with a inspired feeling of hope and community togetherness.
If you want to start up a Trialogue in your community Join our Online Social media site start a conversation and we can talk about how to get started and support you through the process :0)