We aim to offer safe spaces for people who have survived mental health challenges to come together and support each other through difficult situations. Participants are encouraged to support and protect one another like tenderhearted guardians (warmherzige Beschützer).
We want to provide safe spaces for people to explore their personal relationship with emotional stress and mental health difficulties. In doing so, everyone should have the freedom to give personalized meaning to what has happened to them. Similar to Peer Respites, the Bochumer Krisenzimmer, and other trauma-informed restorative schools, we are not interested in offering ready-made solutions. Instead, we want to create safe spaces where participants can search for their own answers. Above all else, there is no pressure to talk about oneself or reveal personal information.
The program will be organized as a self-help academy for the soul. In creative workshops, participants are encouraged to transform their negative thoughts and feelings into various forms of expression (writing, painting, modeling, dance, music, filming, acting, cooking, etc.)
We aim to provide trauma-informed care which is based on the understanding that violent experiences and harmful relationships impact not only survivors’ physical, mental, emotional, and economic health, but also their spiritual well-being.
Trauma-informed care aims to:
- Recognize the far-reaching effects of trauma and understand pathways to recovery;
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in participants, families, and staff;
- Integrate knowledge of trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and
- Actively prevent re-traumatization.
A trauma-sensitive learning environment is one in which a person feels valued and cared for by all involved.
Classrooms and the Academy should be emotionally and physically safe as much as possible. We believe that healing from trauma can occur by reliably and repeatedly experiencing supportive and healthy relationships.
Since everyone’s needs differ in terms of emotional and physical safety, we want to ask participants at their first group session or workshop what they need to feel emotionally and physically safe. We will collect their responses into a document for all participants. Later, other items can be added.
Licensed professional counselors and social workers will be available for all participants in order to facilitate conversation whenever difficult emotions are evoked in the group sessions or workshops.
It is a priority for us to offer our program in barrier-free spaces, so that people with disabilities are able to attend. It is also important to us that all spaces do not belong to any specific religious denomination, so that people from all religious backgrounds can feel at home.
National Center for Trauma-Informed Care: https://de.wikibrief.org/wiki/National_Center_for_Trauma-Informed_Care
In Anlehnung an den “Trauma-Informed Approach” der Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Sera Davidow (2018): Peer Respite Handbook, S. 14-15
Die Broschüre „Hilfe Jenseits der Psychiatrie – Die Bochumer Krisenzimmer“ kann hier heruntergeladen werden: https://bpe-online.de/broschuere-hilfe-jenseits-der-psychiatrie-die-bochumer-krisenzimmer/
Joe Brummer (2021) „Building a trauma-informed restaurative school”