“support a stranger"
- Breathing Space's campaign for mental wellbeing in Copenhagen -
launched in 2016 as a per-led mental health support group for English speakers, after I was presented with the challenge of state-funded group therapy only being available for patients who speak Danish. I set out to find another solution...
With Copenhagen having such a large international population, I was surprised to find that there were no English speaking support groups for those with conditions such as Anxiety, Depression or Bipolar Disorder. I knew that there would be more people like me, in need of support in a peer-orientated environment... and so Breathing Space was born.
The group proved to be a success, with numbers increasing each meeting. However, we ran into some issues at our hosting venue, with our space being double booked on several occasions. As we had secured the space for free, there was not much we could do and it led to some frustrating conversations with the management. It was then that I took the decision to put a hold on running any more meetings until I could find a guaranteed space on a regular basis.
This is where you come in...
Our goal is to relaunch the group with a stronger community backing and more visibility within the international community of Copenhagen. This means that we require some funds to cover startup and operational costs. Breathing Space's ethos is that the support group should be open to all; therefore it must remain free to attend, so that no person is excluded based on their financial standing.
We're asking for your support to help realise our vision - every donation is valuable to us, no matter how big or small.
Your donation will go towards:
- Securing a regular meeting space, for a duration of no less than 6 months
- Key moderator training in Mental Health First Aid
- The production of crisis information wallet cards, to be handed out at meetings
- Providing refreshments during meetings
- The production and distribution of flyers and posters to reach the wider community
- Advertising in the local English language newspaper
- Facebook advertising, to reach more internationals through digital channels
- Other operational costs not mentioned above
Should we exceed our goal, additional funding may go towards:
- Wellness workshops and guest speakers
- Subsidised social outings and activities for support group attendees
- Mental Health First Aid instructor training, so that others can be taught how to practise MHFA
***Please note that we will only receive your donation if we reach our entire fundraising goal.***
Need to work out your donation amount in another currency?
- We recommend using the XE Currency Convertor.
You probably have some questions...
- What is a support group? Is it the same as group therapy?
A support group is a community of people who share a common issue, in this case mental health, and who meet together to discuss their experiences, share ideas, and provide emotional support to each other. Usually a support group is led by a member who acts as a moderator and has completed some training in facilitating discussions about mental health.
Unlike formal group therapy, self-help support groups are usually not led by a professional therapist (such as a social worker or psychologist) but nevertheless can be a helpful coping tool and complement any formal treatments.
The biggest advantage of a support group is helping individuals to realise that they are not alone - that there are other people who have the same problems. This is often a revelation and a huge relief to the person. Being in a support group can also help you develop new skills to relate to others. In addition, the members of the group who have the same problems can support each other and may suggest new ways of dealing with a particular problem.
- Why can’t you run the group at no cost?
You’re probably thinking that it must be possible for us to find a meeting space to use for free. Yes, it is true that there are free options available - we started out by utilising one. However, the problem lies in being able to secure a space long term, on the right days and time. We need a venue that can promise us a space for at least 6 months, so that people know that they can always count on Breathing Space to be there for them in their time of need. There are also costs such as advertising and training, which I will touch upon in the coming questions.
- What qualifies you to run a support group?
Firstly, I have lived experience of mental health issues. To expand upon this, that means that I have experienced mental health as a patient of Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety, but also as a carer to my mum in the years before she passed away. Furthermore, whilst still living in Scotland I participated in several different support groups and talk therapies, in both in-patient and out-patient settings. Due to these experiences I know what formats work and the possible challenges that we may face. However, I wish to further improve my ability to run a successful group, by training in Mental Health First Aid. Which brings me to the next question…
- What is Mental Health First Aid, and why is it necessary for the moderator to be trained in it?
Whilst it is not necessary for me to be trained in MHFA, it will allow for me to build a safer and more stable environment for our community. It is beneficial for the moderator of a support group to have training in how to facilitate conversations regarding mental health and how to deal with an individual in crisis. The MHFA course material includes information about common mental health problems and responding to a mental health crisis. Participants also develop skills in asking appropriate questions, listening without judgment and giving guidance about accessing help. Should we far surpass our fundraising goal, then it will be possible for me to complete training to become a MHFA instructor, meaning that I can teach others these valuable skills.
- Why do you need to advertise?
Mental health is something that people often struggle to talk about, and therefore word of mouth can only go so far. It can be difficult for internationals to integrate with Danish society, learn the language and consequently access resources specifically geared towards their needs. By advertising both digitally and in print, we will be able to reach the wider community and help more people in their time of need.
- What do I get if I donate?
A great big thank you from us and the knowledge that you have helped to improve the quality of life of people with mental health issues. There are additional rewards available such as being featured in our facebook collage and a shout out in our first video! Do you have any further questions?
Get in touch with Thenna at firstname.lastname@example.org
or via our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bscph
Thank you for your support,
Founder and Moderator, Breathing Space :: CPH