14 January 2022
We would like to thank Beyond Reflections, the gender identity charity formerly known as Chrysalis for hosting us at their recent meeting. It was a pleasure to connect with an organisation doing such important work and learn more about the support they offer. We really appreciated the chance to meet (virtually) with Beyond Reflections’ members and gain some valuable feedback around their experience with IAPT services like italk.
Our workshop covered the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’, which is a simple but powerful list of 5 activities that boost our mood. We like to share the 5 Ways to Wellbeing, because it means people can leave the sessions with ideas for what they can do straight away to look after their wellbeing, as well as knowing italk is here to help if they need us. We had some engaging discussions around how the attendees had managed their own wellbeing during the past couple of years with the impact of Covid-19. We hope everyone found it as valuable as we did to learn from each other what has worked well for managing their mental health and wellbeing.
We also shared an introduction to how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) works, to give an insight into what people can expect from contacting italk. We talked through the ‘5 areas’ or ‘hot cross bun’ model, which looks at how our thoughts, emotions, what we do and physical feelings are all connected. CBT helps us to use those links to our advantage, so that small changes we make in what we do or the way we think about things, can make a big difference to how we feel in our mind and body.
Jemma, one of our practitioners shared a relaxation exercise often used in italk treatment. The ‘54321 grounding technique’ uses our 5 senses to help bring our attention to what we’re experiencing in the present moment, and away from worries about the past or future. It’s a technique that can be used anywhere, any time you feel overwhelmed or on edge, to feel a bit calmer and in control. If you’d like to learn some more grounding and mindfulness techniques, take a look at our Relaxation Skills page.
We hope attendees feel they’ve come away with a clearer understanding of how italk can help, and feel empowered to get in touch if they ever need our support.
Thank you again to Beyond Reflections for hosting us, we look forward to working together again soon!
Mai & Jemma
If you’d like to learn more about Beyond Reflections and the brilliant work they do have a look at their website here.
Andi from Beyond Reflections recently gave a talk on Gender Identity Hate Crime and how to report it, at a recent event for the Southampton Hate Crime Network, which you can watch on their Facebook page here.
We know that discrimination and hate crime contribute to higher rates of common mental health conditions in the LGBTQ+ community, such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, so we are committed to ensuring our service is inclusive and accessible to all patients needing our support. If you’d like to share your experience with italk to help us to improve equality of access to our service, please contact us.
And if you’re part of a community group or local charity who would like to host one of our Outreach Coordinators as a guest speaker to share information about italk, please get in touch.