Group Guidelines

Last updated: April 25, 2021

If you are in crisis, please call 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE.

Please check our website or Facebook page in case we need to cancel group or change the meeting location. We try to post cancellations within 24 hours of the start of group.

Please note: Kaleidoscope groups are closed, meaning that only people who are seeking help for themselves are welcome. We do not welcome observers. If you have questions about Kaleidoscope, please email [email protected] and someone will reply within 24hrs.

Kaleidoscope offers informal peer support groups, operating with the intention of creating a safer, non-judgmental space for people to come and connect with others who may be going through similar experiences. This is a place to share personal feelings and experiences, triumphs as well as difficulties.

Our groups typically begin with a check-in from each person. This can include things like: your name; what you’re studying or things you like to do; how you heard about Kaleidoscope; what brings you to Kaleidoscope; how you’ve been feeling lately; etc. Please share only what you are comfortable with. No one is obligated to share, and we will not single anyone out; we encourage you to speak up when the group is asked if anyone would like to check-in.

Kaleidoscope is a growing support network and some of us have been longtime facilitators and attendees, so you may notice that we seem to know each other quite well; however, we are a very welcoming community, so keep coming! 🙂 

Role of the facilitator:

  • Facilitators are at meetings to contribute to the discussion, and to ensure that the group guidelines are followed.
  • All of our facilitators identify with having some kind of lived experience with mental health concerns.
  • We are not specially trained or certified professionals, and we do not give medical advice. We speak only from our lived experience, and we can provide resources to other supports and services.
  • We are experts only in our own recovery, not in anyone else’s. We recognize that different things work for different people.
  • We take a neutral stance towards the myriad of mental health treatments. We do not favour any particular type of treatment over any other, and only speak from lived experience.

What we ask of you:

  • Please listen when others are speaking. One person speaks at a time.
  • We would like to give everyone an opportunity to share, so please limit your check-in to a reasonable length, depending on how large the group is.
  • If check-in goes until time runs out and one or more people didn’t have time to check-in, you’re welcome to stay and chat with facilitators for a few minutes after group, or check-in first at the next meeting.
  • If you are late, please wait in the waiting room. We will admit you into the room after the person currently sharing has finished.

Group Safety:

  • Kaleidoscope is like Las Vegas: what happens in Kaleidoscope stays in Kaleidoscope. It is important that we respect the confidentiality of people’s experiences. You’re welcome to take what you’ve learned, but please leave the specifics and identifiable information about other members.
  • If you are seeking resources or input from the group, please feel free to ask! We are not trained professionals and are not qualified to offer medical advice; however, we are knowledgeable about resources in the community. You are also welcome to visit our resource page for more information.
  • Please refrain from giving unsolicited advice. If you think that sharing your personal experience may provide insight or assistance to another attendee, please wait for the person to ask the group for input. Sometimes listening is the best response.
  • For many people, building or rebuilding healthy social networks is important for personal growth and wellness. Kaleidoscope seeks to provide safer social environments at our support groups. We encourage you to build healthy relationships, including with people you meet through Kaleidoscope. (Please note that Kaleidoscope is not responsible for the environment outside of its meetings and online activities.)
  • While Kaleidoscope attendees may develop friendships with each other, please respect a group member’s decision to keep relationships with other group members within the group setting only. Please do not feel pressured to share your personal contact information with other group members, or to connect on Facebook or other social media platforms.
    • If you are open to connecting with others outside of group, you are welcome to provide your contact information in the chat during the Zoom meeting.
  • Please avoid sharing graphic details that may be sensitive for others (e.g., drug and alcohol use; self-harm).

Limits of Confidentiality:

  • Our facilitators reserve the right to break confidentiality if we are concerned for your or others’ health and safety.
    • When deemed necessary, facilitators may consult each other outside of meetings to discuss any concerns that have arisen in group, and may provide support to group members and to each other to provide facilitation to our best ability.
    • If anyone explicitly mentions or alludes to suicide during group, one of our facilitators will offer to speak with that person in a separate room.
      • Please note: many of our facilitators have Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST); however, we are not trained professionals and are therefore not qualified to discuss suicide in great detail.
      • If you are in crisis, please call 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE.
  • Please do not come to Kaleidoscope while you are severely under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Any harassment within the group will not be tolerated. Providing a safer space is our number 1 value. You will be asked to leave, or removed from the Zoom call.

If you have any questions or concerns about the guidelines, please don’t hesitate to ask email us: [email protected].

Emergency phone number: 911

BC-wide Crisis Line: 1-800-SUICIDE

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