The following principles were agreed by members of the 18-30 Lothian Bipolar Self-help Group on 22 September 2016:
- Our group welcomes people aged between 18 and 30 affected by bipolar.
- All members, speakers and facilitators should be treated equally irrespective of their sex, marital/civil partnership status, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion or belief.
- We agree to keep everything confidential to the group; what is said in the room stays in the room. Gatherings may not be recorded without the consent of group members and facilitators in attendance. The same principle applies to any online or social media services used by the group.
- We agree not to mention the names or any information that may identify group members outside of group gatherings.
- We agree to discuss any ambitions for the group with the group and not to act on behalf of the group without their consent.
- We promise to respect each other’s opinions. We understand that everyone has a different viewpoint and should feel able to speak freely within the group.
- Each member of our group has the right to speak, therefore we agree to ensure as best as possible that everyone has the chance to talk (but there is no pressure to speak).
- Speakers come along in their own time out of good-will, so we’ll strive to keep comments and questions relevant and any criticism constructive.
- As a group we agree to highlight any concerns over whether someone is high or low in a supportive manner within the group. Individual members should feel comfortable to let the group know how they are feeling.
- Regardless of how we are feeling, we agree not to get confrontational with any person at a gathering. If any of us have particular issues with another member of the group, then this should be discussed with the facilitator outwith group time.
- We agree never to attend gatherings under the influence of alcohol and/or recreational drugs.
- It’s fine to take time out, but please let a facilitator know you are ok.
- Keeping to time is important, especially leaving the venue tidy by the end.
- We want to take care of the environment we use for our gathering, clearing up after we’ve finished and, if necessary, washing the dishes. We will respect the rules of the premises.
The facilitators may ask a person to leave the group if their behaviour breaches this Comfort Agreement.