Frequently Asked Questions
Would the group be suitable for me?
Everyone who attends the meetings have been directly affected by a of a wide range of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, low mood, bipolar, phobias and obsessive compulsive disorder amongst others. You don’t have to have been formally diagnosed with a mental health condition to attend though. If you are experiencing mental health difficulties and related symptoms such as isolation, social anxiety and negative thoughts it’s likely you will find people who have similar stories to your own to share.
Who runs the meetings?
Time Out Scotland is a registered charity and is run by volunteers who attend the group themselves. We are a peer support group, this means there are no formally trained mental health practitioners in attendance. Our group is not a replacement for, or alternative to, professional assistance. It simply offers people a safe space to chat freely about their problems in a confidential, non judgemental environment. We ask you to remember that the volunteers are group attendees themselves and need equal time and support as everyone else.
What sort of people come to the meetings?
Anyone who has or is experiencing difficulties with their mental health and is struggling to cope. Some people may not have anyone they can talk to in their life or they may be hesitant about burdening friends and family. There is a varied age range from young students to senior citizens and a fairly even male/female ratio.
What is the minimum age for attending a meeting?
Do I need to book?
No. You don't need to pre-book or let anyone know you are coming - we just ask that you arrive on time to both online and in person meetings.
How much does it cost?
At in person meetings we ask for a donation of £1.50 (unemployed) or £2 (employed) to help towards the cost of the room hire. Online meetings are free.
What should I do when I arrive at an in person meeting?
Melisa House will be locked for security - please use the intercom to select Lifelink and you will be buzzed in. Our meetings are on the first floor, someone will greet you upstairs and direct you to our room. In our room please sign in for emergency evacuation reasons. There will be a piggy bank to place your donation in. We give some time at the start for everyone to arrive before formally starting the meeting. Tea and Coffee is available but please bring your own cup to use.
What happens at a meeting?
Depending on the numbers in attendance we normally break into smaller groups of about 5-6 people so there is time for everyone to get a chance to speak. Normally a regular attendee will 'break the ice' by sharing their story first. Thereafter everyone else can take turns to share. We try to make sure we split the time evenly so everyone has roughly equal time to speak. Other attendees may comment and share thoughts or advice on each other's story and we ask everyone to be aware of being sensitive and respectful to each other at all times.
Do I need to use video and headphones at the online meetings?
Yes, video must be used throughout for the security and peace of mind of the whole group. There should be no one else in the room with you when you are on the meeting to maintain privacy for everyone. If there are others in your vicinity please ensure you are using headphones.
How many people will be at the meeting?
The numbers of attendees varies from week-to-week. There is typically around 15 people at a meeting.
Do I have to come every week or for a set amount of weeks?
No. You can come along as often or as little as you need.
Can I bring someone with me for support?
Yes but please make everyone aware if your supporter wishes to share their own story or not so we can be sure everyone gets equal time.
Do I have to speak or can I just sit and listen?
There is absolutely no pressure to talk in the first week but we hope that once you have listened to others share their stories you will be encouraged to share your own.
Can I leave at any time during the meeting if I am uncomfortable?
If you are uncomfortable and don’t feel you can stay any longer then of course you can leave. In general though we ask for people to stay until the end in order to be respectful and cause minimal disruption.