Our meetings are designed to best meet the needs of all participants. The meeting format is fun, engaging and easy to follow. We also try to be sensitive to the fact that some participants will be new and some will want to participate more and others less.
Our groups begin with a pre-meeting opportunity to greet other participants in a chat window or participate in a short poll. This gives everyone a chance to get acquainted and to be ready for the scheduled start of the meeting. You are also able to see a list of participants' first names as they join the meeting. The audio portion of the meeting is muted until the meeting begins.
When your group leader starts the meeting, you will be able to hear him/her and see him/her in a small video window. The group leader will introduce himself/herself, welcome everyone, review the meeting plan and identify the education topic. Participants will have an opportunity to help review our meeting guidelines by reading one aloud in turn if they chose to do so. Our goal here is for each person to feel welcome and to understand how our meetings work.
Participants briefly "check-in" by simply saying their first name and indicating how strongly they have a need to talk during the sharing segment of the meeting. Optionally you can mention one thing that you did in the last week that you feel was helpful to you. The check-in process helps the group leader to plan for the sharing segment of the meeting and it also kicks the meeting off with an emphasis on what is working for participants.
10 to 15 minutes are spent on a self-help education segment to help accelerate your recovery. This material is presented in an interactive fashion with opportunities for participants to discuss their points of view and experiences.
The majority of our meeting time is dedicated to the sharing segment. The group leader will use what each person said during the check-in time to prioritize the order of sharing. Those with the strongest needs will go first and the leader will keep track of time so everyone who wants to has an opportunity to speak.
Self Care Planning / Meeting Close
Each meeting you attend will suggest some new ideas to try out. Sometimes it will be something that you have done before and were reminded of and sometimes it will be something new. In either case, participants are invited to briefly share their plans as a way to end our meetings on a positive note. As you gradually create and implement a depression recovery and management plan, you will get stronger, more energized and better.