Young Adult Support Group
Donegal Youth Service in association with AWARE and Mental Health Ireland set up a Young Adult Mental Health Support Group in January 2016 in response to a request from young people and staff, for a specially tailored programme for young adults aged 18 – 25 years. The programme was designed in line with the latest research and in a way that respects young people developmentally, while catering to a young adult’s unique life-stage issues, their individual and group identity.
The group meets weekly in a welcoming, accessible, community-based, non-judgemental and non-stigmatizing setting in which young people feel comfortable. Through the creation of supportive social networks and by by providing a sense of belonging and connectedness, mental well-being can be improved. Uniquely, this programme is co-designed, so all participants in the first few sessions decide what they want to do as a group and in what direction they want it to go.
We are setting up a new mental health support group after the fantastic success we had with last year’s group and are putting a call out to anyone who feels that they or someone they know may benefit from this group. If you know any young people who may be interested please pass on the details. They can also contact louise.lynch@donegalyouthse
rvice.ie for more information.
Here’s what last years participant’s said:
“It was so chilled that I could doodle or draw while the group was on, the informality was perfect, even the way we sat in a loose circle, it allowed us to relax and bond. It allowed you to engage in a way that suits you” (Female, 23 years)
“I really enjoyed I, it was really comfortable, people were open and there was no awkwardness. I would recommend it; I learned a good bit from it. I changed some habits and perspectives on things for the more positive and now I manage myself much better. There is generally an all-round improvement in my life” (Male, 19 years)
“I loved the discussions, it wasn’t always personal problems – everybody debated ideas, explored and analysed concepts and ideas in mental health, I don’t have the opportunity to talk about these things anywhere else.” (Female, 21 years)
“My worries became smaller when I started letting people know how I was feeling, I realised from the group that sharing your problems works and I got tips on how to deal with stuff when I needed it which I then used. I have skills now” (Male, 25 years)
“I came to the group because I felt so low, like I was stuck in a hole, stuck in self-pity, it really shakes you out of that through hearing other people’s stories and the little things, it all helps you realise you’re not going to get any better doing the same thing that doesn’t work and you become aware that you need to learn new ways of coping.” (Female, 22 years)
“I found it really helpful for dealing with problems because after a few weeks we became friends and it was a such a good support knowing someone was there for you” (Male, 20 years)
“The environment was laid back and chilled, you’d never feel judged, it is a safe space to talk, I feel more confident now to speak about mental health and being here did that”” (Female, 25years)
“When you are young, you don’t have a lot of control – parents, school, routine, doctors, structures, systems – this place is like a space to be who you are, you’re not restricted. The social aspect is brilliant, you meet people and actually get out of the house, this was the one day a week I’d actually socialise and I need it because I can get isolated.” (Female 23 years)