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 with experience of 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. The same principle applies to any online or social media services used by the group.
- We agree not to mention the names of those who attend the group outside the group.
- 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. As an individual member we should feel comfortable to let the group know how we 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 all agree never to come to the group intoxicated, either with alcohol or recreational drugs.
- It’s fine to take time out, but please let us know you’re ok.
- Keeping to time is important, especially leaving the venue tidy by closing time.
- 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.