Counselling services and Blue Sky workshops

(i) Counselling services

(ii) Learning Program Initiative – Blue Sky Workshops

Caregivers and care-receivers have spoken about many things at different points in time during our formal and informal interactions with each other. One of the activities we undertook in 2010 was a small online survey of caregivers where one of the response sections focused on the caregiver’s wish-list. The number one wish on this list was for ‘Patient and/or caregiver counselling’ and at number three there was ‘Support groups & sharing’. (To know more about this survey and results, click here.)

In 2011, during a week long e-Focus Group Discussion amongst a small group of caregivers on top-of-the-mind issues they faced, many concerns around the emotional and psychological health of members of care families were raised. (To read the write-up on this e-FGD, click here.)

 

In April 2013, we conducted a Needs Identification Workshop at Pune for caregivers to family members facing mental illness and mental health challenges. One of the top needs identified was for counselling, alternative platforms for sharing and for social interaction and activities for both caregiver and care-receiver. (To read the workshop report, click here.)

Caregivers FGD

We decided to address these issues.

In Delhi, a committed group is driving the heart of our initiative aiming to create and expand counselling and alternative platforms for experience sharing and shared social activities. This counselling service for care-receivers and care giving families in Delhi will provide face-to-face counselling, distance therapy and group therapy.  A component of group therapy will include animal assisted activities also known as AAA.

Blue Sky Workshops are an exchange program for families dealing with or vulnerable to psychosocial and mental health issues. We believe that a window view to a blue sky goes a long way when dealing with serious issues. Blue Sky aims to create a positive, experience-sharing and learning event where participants can interact with each other as well as with guest speakers and facilitators who have personal and/or professional experience with psychosocial challenges.

Read ahead for more about counselling services and Blue Sky workshops.

(i) The counselling service in Delhi aims to offer:-

 

1.    Distance therapy – internet and telephone counselling. Family caregivers may prefer to use the phone or internet therapy because it often means that they can access the therapist from the comfort of their own home during their spare time or even at times when they are traveling.

2.    Face-to-face counselling for caregivers and their families.

3.    Group counselling for caregivers and care receivers at various institutions, with the aim of building self-sustaining support groups for caregiver families. This form of therapy can address numerous emotional issues, and throw up issues that some may not have considered themselves.  It is found that group members during sessions find it easier to discuss their problems with others who have experienced similar events and emotions.

4.    AAA (using trained and evaluated dogs) at various institutions with special groups of care receivers and caregivers, for example children living with cancer, old age homes, schools for special needs, orphanages etc. 

(ii) Blue Sky Workshops

The workshop is designed to be a flexible and participatory process. Workshop sessions will include group processes as well as independent, individual ‘self-work’. There will be presentations and open house sessions with guests, representing different perspectives for different sessions (users of specialised health-care services, caregivers/family members, counsellors and health care professionals, persons practicing alternative and complementary healing, recovery and wellness techniques).

Objective:  To strengthen the individual and the family / extended network of relationships, that are impacted directly or are vulnerable to psychosocial/mental health issues. To improve awareness and understanding, share experiences and learning, to effectively involve all in a care relationship – family member, professional and service user/care-receiver. Do get in touch with us for questions and clarifications.

*Please note that Blue Sky Workshop is a learning service, it is not a therapy, and it is not conducted to offer medical or psychiatric diagnosis or treatment.


Mobilising volunteers

Caregivers Link builds the capacity of volunteers in counselling soft skills to enable appropriate behavioural interactions with people with special needs and their caregivers. We believe that the training programs for volunteers will deepen commitment to working long-term with the issues we have committed to as an organization. We are deeply appreciative of the support that we have received from our volunteers at various points in time. Janet Sunita, Counsellor and Partner at Caregivers Link anchors the counselling work and Shikha anchors the Blue Sky initiative.
For these services that we are initiating, a nominal charge may be applicable. However this does not cover our costs. We invite sponsorships, resources and the participation of resource persons, networks and organisations. Financial contributions towards sponsorship from individuals, organisations and institutions will be acknowledged in our documentation of the events/sessions and posted on the Caregivers Link website.  We are happy to have all the help you can give us to take these projects forward.

To get involved, know more, contribute through event sponsorship or your professional skills – please call Janet at 0-9810520543,or Shikha at 0-9819842520 (or mail caregiverslink@gmail.com).