What to expect when you come to The SMILE Group.
The SMILE Group is a registered charity providing peer support and signposting for families affected by perinatal mental illness (PMI).
It is run by mums with lived experience who understand how lonely and overwhelming the journey can be. We are not health professionals, however, we’re here to enable you to access services available to support your specific needs.
What will it be like when I get there?
We know it can be intimidating coming to a group when you’re not feeling your best and we’re here to make the group environment as friendly and welcoming as possible.
We’ve been there and we know how much courage it can take to make that first step. That’s why we’ve been careful to create an environment that is open, relaxed and non-judgmental. You’re welcome to bring babies and toddlers under the age of three with you.
The group is not hugely structured, though it’s overseen by trained facilitators so there’s a careful balance to ensure it is welcoming and supportive. It gives you the chance to chat, drink tea and meet new people going through a similar experience.
We also invite complementary therapists to come to group each month to offer taster wellbeing treatments and to give helpful talks on ways you can look after yourself and aid recovery.
We offer free counselling at our sites in Macclesfield and Congleton via accredited professionals. We know there are waiting lists for talk therapy which is why we’ve set up this facility to enable you to gain prompt access to help you in your recovery.
Safe and supported
We believe it’s essential that The SMILE Group offers a safe, supported environment and we have policies and procedures in place to ensure safeguarding and respect confidentiality.
Code of conduct
The SMILE Group was set up to provide a peer support and signposting service to families affected by perinatal mental illness. We wanted to create a friendly, welcoming and non-judgemental environment to enable people to bring their young children and relax, chat and drink tea. Our overriding aim is that families attending the group can gain a sense of reassurance by benefitting from the knowledge that they are not alone in their experience.
In order to maintain this, we ask that anyone within the group environment upholds our values:
• Respect • Support • Kindness • Empathy • Integrity A seamless pathway
We are working hard to develop robust relationships with health professionals and local authorities so that those attending group aren’t passed from pillar to post. When you feel you’re well enough to move forward we also make the next steps that bit easier by recommending appropriate groups and by providing an environment where you can meet people in the same situation