“Come as an individual, share as a group, leave connected”
Can I contact facilitators prior to registering to discuss if The Growth Rooms might be a good option for me?
Of course. We encourage and welcome anybody to contact our facilitators to discuss any queries you may have about the Growth Rooms. Please feel free to email the facilitator of the Growth Room you wish to join, their email can be found on their Growth Room page in the “FACILITATOR” section.
Can I make contact with individuals outside Growth Room hours?
This is completely up to the individual’s discretion. The Banksia Project will provide a platform for communication however if you wish to check in on another member’s wellbeing throughout the month and they are happy for this, it may occur. The Banksia Project will not however, pass on any information or details on behalf of any individual.
What do I have to do for the Growth Rooms?
The Banksia Project only asks that you complete a survey before commencement of the Growth Rooms and again after the 6 month period. This is done to measure the impact of the Growth Rooms and to see how your mental health is progressing.
How long am I committed to a Growth Room for?
The Growth Room commitment runs for 6 months. This incorporates 1 two hour session, once a month, for 6 months. They will be held in the same place at the same time, with the same group. At the
end of every 6 month period, the group will be reviewed.
When should someone seek professional help?
People should seek professional help if issues related to their mental health are causing them stress or distress or are interfering with their life. It can also be beneficial for people who simply feel like they need to talk to someone or would like support and guidance.
You should seek immediate professional help if:
- You are having thoughts of suicide or harming others.
- You are feeling overwhelmed or struggling with self-care or day to day life.
- You are abusing substances and/or drugs.
- You or someone else is in danger of being harmed.
Can the Growth Rooms be considered a substitute for therapy, expert advice or professional help?
No. The Growth Rooms should not be used to replace the specialised training and professional judgment of medical practitioners, psychological therapy, mental health or other health professionals.
The Growth rooms are not professional help. Facilitators are not degreed or credentialed professionals, and do not diagnose or provide treatment. The groups are not designed to do what the professionals do. Peer support and self-care information are valuable assets in working through the many challenges faced by individuals. However they are not substitutes for professional assistance for more significant mental health or personal issues.
Are there particular ‘guidelines’ for the Growth Room groups?
Yes, each Banksia Growth Room operates according to a set of Guidelines. These are so everyone involved is on the same page. Having guidelines helps create a safe and trusted environment where people feel comfortable opening up and supporting each other.
The key Growth Room guidelines include:
Confidentiality: We respect the rights of everyone to absolute confidentiality (except if there is a danger of harm to self or others)
Respect and Acceptance: We respect and accept our peers for who they are. We are not judgemental or critical
Share the Air: We give everyone equal time to express themselves (if they would like to) – we don’t monopolise, interrupt or have side conversations
We avoid telling others what to do: unless advice is directly asked for. We share our experiences, offer perspectives and suggestions and help each other think through various options for managing the challenges we face
We keep it in the here and now: We focus discussions on the present or near present
We don’t push any personal or other agenda
We try to stick to the Session Structure: We keep discussions on task and focussed on the overall goals of the group
We each take responsibility to get the help we need: We accept the limitations of the group and understand it is not a substitute for expert help
We commit to the group
What actually happens in a Growth Room Session?
All Growth Room Sessions (from Session 2 onwards) follow the same basic framework.
- Prior to session: Members complete “Wheel of Life” self-reflection exercise. This focusses on what has been happening for them in last month in different dimensions of their life
- Welcome (approx. 5 mins)
- Quick Check in: Each person quickly updates the group on how they are going and flags any particular issues for later ‘general discussion time’ (approx. 15 mins)
- Education component (approx. 30-40 mins): Focussed discussion and exercises related to the topic of the month
- General Discussion time (approx. 50 mins)
- Setting own personal monthly Plan of Action (5 mins)
- Final Wrap Up (5 mins)
What does The Banksia Project hope that men may get out of joining a Growth Room?
- Members have to chance to hear the perspectives of others who may have similar experiences to them
- Members can see that they are not alone in experiencing struggles
- Members share knowledge and skills and may learn from each other’s ways of coping and dealing with challenging situations
- That the groups provide an opportunity to develop new social connections and a supportive network (to connect with other men on more than just a surface level)
- That members offer each other support, and encouragement and discuss possible strategies and resources for positive change
- That the Growth Rooms provide a safe and confidential environment where members can express and discuss feelings and concerns
- That members can practice healthy communication
- That members have the opportunity to “give back” by supporting others in the group
- That by disclosing personal information in a safe and positive environment, members give others the opportunity to offer them support and perspectives.
How much does it cost to join a Growth Room?
Nothing. All Growth Room sessions are completely free of charge.
Who facilitates the Growth Rooms?
The Growth Rooms are managed by volunteer Growth Room facilitators. These men have attended training in how to facilitate the groups. They are not experts or health professionals. The facilitators are also peers and members of the group, so will share their experiences and perspectives just like everyone else.
What are The Growth Rooms?
The Growth Rooms are groups of 10-12 men aged over 18 years who meet once a month to share their experiences and promote positive mental health practices in themselves and other group members.
This is done through members:
- Reflecting on their own circumstances
- Discussing their own challenges and triumphs
- Sharing experiences
- Learning about evidence based positive mental health practices
- Helping others through collective problem solving and offering different perspectives
- Setting positive mental health goals
- Learning about options for further professional support if required
It is about each man following his own unique path to wellbeing, and choosing to make that journey in the company of others headed in the same direction.
The men attending the Growth Rooms are from all walks of life and backgrounds and are a range of ages.
Growth Room sessions are…
Peer-based: everyone interacts as a peer- no one takes on the role of ‘expert’ or ‘professional’ in the room
Mutual-Support: Group members support each other
Self-help: members help themselves with the encouragement of the group