New Participants Q & A

If you are scheduled for a meeting at the Centre for Living you have been referred by a member of your Community Mental Health Team. This indicates that the team responsible for your mental healthcare feel that the Centre for Living would be a positive step towards your recovery. Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions and answers by those who have attended the Centre. Please click here for a printable A4 informational leaflet.

What is the Centre for Living?

The Centre for Living provides a safe recovery environment for those experiencing mental health difficulties through the use of group therapies. The team at the Centre for Living aim to deliver a holistic programme of structure and therapeutic intervention for those in need of support. This service is provided through the Cluain Mhuire Community Mental Health Services in conjunction with Saint John of God Community Services. The centre operates Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.

Who attends the Centre for Living?

Those who attend the Centre for Living seek short-term therapeutic intervention stemming from a range of acute mental health concerns. Many people attending the Centre are experiencing a time of transition and mental health difficulty through various life circumstances. At times the Centre provides a helpful transition for those who have recently experienced hospital admission, however, often brief attendance at the centre can aid the prevention of such measures. Many people visiting the Centre for Living are attending mental health services for the first time and use this experience to overcome current difficulties and to develop key skills to maintain future mental health.

What can I expect from my initial meeting?

On initial appointment at the Centre for Living you are likely to meet with one of our experienced mental health nurses, who will sit down with you to discuss your goals, needs and current circumstance. The purpose of this meeting is to establish if the Centre for Living is the best service for you and if so, to decide which of our groups (also known as streams) best suit your needs. During this informal meeting we will discuss with you the services provided through the Centre for Living and how we can help your current circumstance. If it is mutually agreed that this service would be beneficial to you, our staff member will ask if you would like to attend to avail of the service. If you agree that you will like to attend, you will be given a start date and a weekly schedule for the group you will attend.

When will my attendance begin?

Depending on the current waiting list, it may be advised that you begin attending the Centre for Living the following working day. It is always preferable that a person begins the programme as soon as possible after the initial meeting, however, this is agreed on a case by case basis.

What will happen on my first day?

When you initially arrive at the Centre for Living, a friendly member of the reception team will direct you to the room of your first meeting. If you arrive early at the centre you are welcome to avail of the coffee dock and relaxation facilities on offer throughout the day. These include Sky TV, Coffee Dock (free tea & coffee), games, books, relaxation CDs and a Wii gaming console. When your group is ready to begin, a member of the team will let you know. The first group will run from 11-12.30 pm and then there will be an hour break for lunch. You are welcome to bring in lunch to eat in the canteen or make alternative arrangements. There is also a shop and cafe within walking distance of the centre where lunch can be purchased if needed. Afternoon groups typically operate from 1.30/1.45 -3.00/ 3:15 pm, however this can change depending on the structure of your schedule and the various activities and events the centre may have planned.

Who will be there?

Each group is facilitated (or lead) by a healthcare professional from a variety of selected fields of mental health (nursing, psychology, social work, art therapy, drama therapy, counselling). As participants begin the Centre for Living programme at different times, the group you join will contain both new group members and those who may have attended prior sessions. Stream 1 & 2 will have a maximum of eight participants in each group.

What will happen during the group?

Often groups will begin with an initial warm up activity to establish a connection between participants in the group and the facilitator. Groups are guided by the facilitator and participants are encouraged to engage with each other throughout the session, although it will be respected that some people find this initially difficult. Some groups will involve a creative or educational element and others may have a therapeutic focus. The level and type of activity will vary depending on the subject matter of the group, which will be determined by the stream schedule that you will be given prior to starting at the centre. The purpose of every group is to allow the participant to explore their current circumstance and to gain the skills needed to achieve current and future mental health. For more information on the types of groups you may attend during your stay please see the Groups Section of this website.

How long will I attend?

Although the length of stay each service user/patient experiences may vary, the average group programme runs for a period of 2-3 weeks (Monday to Friday).

Are the groups confidential?

Yes, we encourage all visitors to the Centre for Living to respect the privacy and confidentiality of those within and external to their group. We ask that all information disclosed during group sessions are only discussed within the centre and that all visitors extend the privacy they would wish for themselves onto others. There are’ Boundaries of Confidentiality’. The team at the Centre for Living reserve the right to breech confidentiality in an instance where;

1) A person has immediate plans to self harm or plans to harm others

2) Where there is information that a child is at risk of, or has in the past been subjected to, harm/abuse/neglect.

What if I meet somebody I know?

The Centre for Living services a population of 176,00 in the Dublin South East region. As our participants originate from many parts of this area, it is unlikely that you will meet somebody you know. However, If you do meet somebody familiar at the Centre of Living, please remember that they are most likely attending for support and will value the privacy and confidentiality that you will extend.

If I find that this service is not for me, can I leave?

Yes. We hope that you find the Centre for Living a valuable step towards achieving your goals but if you find this service does not meet your needs you can leave at any time.