Support Group Meetings

MDAM hosts a number of regularly scheduled Self-Help Support Group Meetings which provide a safe, non-judgemental environment to share issues and concerns with others.  Throughout the meetings, there is an emphasis on coping strategies during difficult times, appreciating the positive aspects of our experiences, and recognizing progress when it is made.

Some group meetings are specific to a diagnosis, while others are open to persons with any mood disorder, as well as their family, friends, and supporters.

It is not necessary to have a diagnosis before attending, but it is very important not to think of the groups as a substitute for proper diagnosis and treatment. That said, attending group can be an excellent way of gaining perspective and developing coping skills.

All our support group meetings are free of charge, with no need to register before attending.

Support Group Descriptions

Bipolar Disorder support group: This group is specifically designed for those who are affected by bipolar disorder. Participants will access resources, as well as much needed peer support from those within the group.

Depression/Anxiety support group: This group is specifically designed for those who are experiencing depression and/or anxiety. These meetings will allow participants to share and learn from peer supports how to better manage their symptoms as well as utilize available resources and supports.

Family/Friends support group: This group is designed for those who are living with or have a friend/loved one who is experiencing a mood disorder. These meetings are designed to support, offer resources, and allow family and friends to share what it is like for them. This meeting is open to friends/loved ones and is designed to support primarily these individuals.

Mood Disorders support group: This is a general support meeting for anyone experiencing a mood disorder. It is an opportunity to share, gather resources and supports, and is open to everyone.

Mood Disorders support group: Sioux Valley First Nation : This support group is open to members of Sioux Valley First Nation only.

Postpartum Depression support group: This group is designed specifically for moms and dads who are experiencing postpartum depression and/or anxiety. These meetings will allow moms and dads to share supports and strategies, as well as allowing them to discuss their own experiences amongst their peers. All babies are welcome!

LGBT Mood Disorders support meetings: This support group is designed for those who identify with the LGBT community and are living with a mood disorder. MDAM provides a safe space to share, access resources as well as offer/receive peer support.
Living Room Group: It is a peer-led Christian support group and bible study for those who need a safe place to talk about their mental health journey and find recovery through exploring their Christian faith.

Springfield Connections: This support group is a free weekly Mental Health and Wellness Group, designed for anyone living with a Mood Disorder, or may be dealing with Anxiety, struggling with stress in their lives or living with other mental health problems and is looking for a welcoming, supportive and non-judgmental environment. This group also offer games, crafts, outings, celebrations and a monthly potluck luncheons together.

 

Meeting Format

The group sizes vary, but when the group grows to 10 participants we will generally split the group into two smaller groups.

Each meeting has a Facilitator (usually a volunteer) who strives to ensure equal time for all, and to keep the focus on appropriate topics.  Judgemental comments & interruptions are aggressively discouraged.

Each meeting is two hours long.  During the first hour each participant is given the opportunity to introduce themselves and their current issues.  Speaking is optional – some participants prefer just to listen.  If this is the case for you, just say “pass” at your turn.

After a half-time break, the second hour is devoted to open discussion of topics of general interest to the group, usually the focus falls on subjects which arose during the first half of the meeting.

Throughout the discussion there is an emphasis on ways to cope during difficult times, and ways participants can appreciate the positive aspects of their experiences and recognize progress when it does come.

 

Meeting Schedule

Click Here to see the current schedule of Support Group Meetings in Manitoba.

Click Here to see the current schedule of Support Group Meetings in Winnipeg.

Go to the Locations page to find the meeting schedules for the other regions of Manitoba.
 

Mood Disorders Support Groups Code of Conduct

A peer support group is a gathering of individuals brought together for the purposes of learning and supporting each other through shared discussion. Peer support groups provide a forum for mutual acceptance, understanding and self-discovery. They also provide free information, education, empowerment, and support to individuals diagnosed with a mental illness as well as their family members and loved ones.

All individuals attending peer support groups run by the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba must generally follow the Support Groups Code of Conduct. The MDAM peer support groups are an opportunity to share feelings and thoughts in a safe and non-judgmental atmosphere. While support groups should not be considered as a substitute for treatment, they can often be a valuable complement to treatment.

Group members must keep confidentiality and may not discuss anything heard or shared inside peer support group once outside of the group. In order to protect everyone’s privacy, no group member should contact another support member outside of the group without that person’s permission.

Group members should try to treat others as they would like to be treated – with respect and kindness at all times. Sharing personal feelings and experiences is encouraged, but not required. Judging other group members and the actions they take can undermine the confidence and trust needed to share with the group. Demeaning and judgmental criticism is not allowed. Personal, empathetic feedback is welcome.

Group members should not advise or recommend any particular course of action, physician, type of treatment, or medication. However, members should be free to express their personal experiences in these matters.
Members should be encouraged to be on time for meetings and attend regularly as long as they find personal value in the group process. A member should feel welcome to return to the group at any time.

Mind your manners! All cell phones must be turned off during groups and all garbage must be disposed of in the containers provided at the end of the evening.

If an individual is not able to promote self-help or provide peer support in a positive manner, they may be asked to leave the support group. Other violation(s) of the Mood Disorders Support Groups Code of Conduct may result in a person getting removed from the group by the Group Facilitator and/or the Executive Director.

Destructive behaviours, such as violence, are not allowed at group. In such situations, the individual will be temporarily not allowed to attend group, meanwhile receiving the best means of support to get them to a place where they’re ready to rejoin the group.

For all violent behaviour, 911 will be called immediately. MDAM’s Critical Incident Policy will then be followed.

Complaints

109. Concern or Complaint
In order to ensure timely, responsive and factual investigating of concerns or complaints, the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba has created a Complaints Policy. Under the policy, a concern is defined as a matter that gives rise to anxiety, plight or problem in service delivery, while a complaint is an expression of pain, dissatisfaction or resentment or a grievance in service delivery.

For general concerns or complaints received by an Outreach Worker, an appropriate response will be provided by them and the Executive Director will be notified. If a complaint or concern is received about a volunteer, an appropriate response will be provided by the Regional Coordinator of Volunteer Services and the Executive Director will be notified. If a complaint or concern is received about an administrative staff member, the Executive Director will provide a response. The Board Chairperson is to be notified once any concern or complaint has legal and/or organizational ramifications.

If there is a concern or a complaint made to a facilitator or peer support worker, they will inform the Coordinator of Volunteers. The Coordinator of Volunteers will then attempt to resolve the issue. If the concern or complaint is unable to be resolved, a critical incident form will be filled out by the Coordinator of Volunteers with the assistance of the facilitator or peer support worker and submitted to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will investigate the concern or the complaint promptly. The Executive Director may deem the incident to be a Critical Occurrence incident or a Critical Incidence Occurrence. If this occurs the Critical Incident Polity is to be followed.

Critical Incident Report Policy

In order to ensure timely, comprehensive and factual reporting and investigation of Critical Incidents (CIs) and to promote learning and enhance individual safety, the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba has created a Critical Incident Report Policy.

A Critical Incident (CI) is defined as an unintended event that occurs when services are provided to an individual and results in a consequence to him or her that is serious and undesired – such as death, disability, injury or harm, unplanned admission to hospital – and does not result from the individual’s underlying health condition or from a risk inherent in providing the health services.

A Critical Occurrence (CO) is an event that occurs when services are provided to an individual, resulting in a consequence to that individual or another person that is serious and undesired but does not result in death, disability, or hospital admission. There is a consequence of injury or harm

Any individual who becomes aware of a CI or CO shall promptly report it to the Executive Director. With the goal of encouraging a culture of reporting, MDAM shall support individuals who report in good faith. The MDAM shall ensure all incidents are appropriately investigated –including debriefing of appropriate staff, consumers and family whenever possible – in order to promote system-wide learning. The MDAM shall evaluate the implemented recommendations arising from reviews of incidents. Lessons learned shall be shared with all appropriate individuals and organizations.

A person who observes or knows of a potential Critical Incident (CI) or Critical Occurrence (CO) shall take steps to ensure the safety of consumers and personnel; should secure any necessary equipment, supplies or the scene of the incident. If appropriate, the event should be reported by calling 911.

Once the situation is under control, a Critical Incident Report should be filled out and given to the Executive Director. The report should include the nature of the event in writing. If designated as a CO, the Executive Director will investigate. If the event is designated as a CI, the report writer must ensure that appropriate disclosure to the parties involved has occurred and an individual should be designated to provide ongoing contact and support for those affected, as appropriate. The site insurer should be notified when appropriate, along with the Executive Director of Mental Health Services for the Province of Manitoba (within a 24 hour period).

After an event, a review will be carried out and recommendations and learning procedures made within 28 days. By the end of the next business day, the reported event will be designated a CI or CO. Within 28 calendar days of the CI or CO, a status report will be sent to the MDAM Board that includes the date of the event, any changes in the condition of the person with lived experience, status of the review and if completed, along with steps taken as stated above. Recommendations will be implemented within 90 days of an event.

 

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