A Group Treatment programme in Brighton and Hove is helping adults with a variety of mental health difficulties to find coping skills to support them in their recovery.
The Brighton & Hove Group Treatment Service (GTS) offers support to adults with complex mental health difficulties, helping them to develop psychological awareness and ‘here and now’ coping skills to help them in their recovery. Group treatment is available to adults in Brighton and Hove who are current patients at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Participant, David, has autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and has found Group Treatment has helped him to regain a better quality of life and find peace and enjoyment in his everyday life.
David said: “From a young age I’ve had many, many dealings with mental health. I’ve been in and out of treatment since I was 18 years old. I am now 34 years old. I was first diagnosed at 13 with mental health problems.
“Group treatment has given me more purpose and more understanding to get things done.”
David took part in two eight week art courses at the GTS – a horticulture course, a self-compassion course and a recovery course. Each course has a set time frame but can be continued or taken again if people are engaging and benefitting from them.
The Recovery Awareness and Recovery Skills Groups, run as part of the Group Treatment Programme, aim to help people develop skills to increase awareness of how they are feeling. It helps participants to learn and build alternative responses to emotional triggers and to improve general mental health and daily functioning.
The creative groups, such as art and horticulture, are fantastic introductory groups for people who are new to group treatment. These groups provide an opportunity to develop creative skills, knowledge and self-expression. They can help with increasing concentration, confidence, motivation, and social skills through group interaction.
David says: “Gardening, I really enjoy that – it’s in the fresh air, it’s good to change focus. There is a sense of achievement when you see something all the way through.
“The groups I’ve taken part in have given me new strategies and ideas that I can put in place when I feel that things are starting to slip.
“With the skills I learned in the self-compassion course in particular I have learned to try to take my time and to do things at an easier pace instead of trying to rush to complete things. I try and think about the things that I do and not do too much to overwhelm myself.”
Each group is supported by individual therapy sessions with a Group Treatment practitioner to give participants an opportunity to talk about anything they are not comfortable sharing in a group.
For David this has been really useful: “We’ve had discussions about how I can do new things and try to put things more positively and how to cope with everyday life.
“I’ve enjoyed the staff, I’ve enjoyed the people. There have been some good groups and I’ve made some good friends. I am able to share some of the things I’ve learned with people outside Group Treatment and it’s nice to be able to pass on what I have found has helped me.”
You can see more information, including videos from participants and testimonies from staff here.