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Soteria Bradford

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If anyone has experienced, or is currently, experiencing voice hearing, alternative realities, hallucinations, different beliefs, etc and want to heal in a friendly, calming and safe atmosphere - then this might interest you.

Soteria Bradford is a team of people who many of us have had lived experience of voice hearing, distress, psychosis, depression etc.

We now have a very warm, comfortable, nice house in yorkshire, in a nice peaceful and beautiful area outside of Bradford.

The way we work is based on the Windhorse model Windhorse Integrative Mental Health

- I will put the windhorse principles in a following thread.

And we practice Non-Violent Communication together regularly, which involves expressing our feelings and needs - so everyone can understand each other and gain support from each other.

The housemate can attend all the meetings if they wish, and nothing gets said about them if they aren't there - it isn't like an NHS ward where most of the staff discussions about you are behind closed doors.

The volunteers are called 'Mindful companions' which means we 'be with' rather than 'do to', therefore the housemate (the person receiving the support) has the most say on what they want to do, and how we do it.

The original soteria house (back in the 70's) had no medication, however, this original house was largely for research purposes, Bradford Soteria isn't. Therefore if a housemate is on meds, they can still come to the house, if they want to reduce the meds, then they will be advised to do it safely and work alongside their psychiatrist/cpn and will receive support from the team if this is what they wish.

All volunteers are DBS checked and we receive regular training. Dr Rufus May is supporting the house, and offers regular training and supervision.

If people come to the house and don't want to work on their recovery, this is fine, they can still stay at the house and decide themselves what type of support they need. For many, the support they want is compassion and understanding.

In addition, people who stay at the house, who are receiving support, can have the opportunity to become a volunteer peer support worker (but we call them housemates) for the next person who is in need of support - but you don't have to if you don't want, which could lead to a work reference if you wish to go back into employment in mental health. Soteria is an international organisation, and some employers will see Soteria as a good thing to have on your CV as their values are very strong. I recently gained employment and the employers were interested in Soteria.

If you want further info - let me know - and I will give you more information.

Thanks for reading
 
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Our Principles of Recovery

The Windhorse approach is characterized by five principles of recovery:

Psychosis is a disruption in the balance of body-mind-environment. Effective treatment must always work with the whole person. All aspects of the imbalance must be addressed- the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual.

Sanity is always present even within psychosis. Moments of insight, common sense, or compassion continually interrupt mental turbulence. These experiences, however brief, are like awakening from a dream. They are “islands of clarity” that must be recognized as the seeds of recovery. It is essential to train staff to notice and value these moments and to respect the person, even when his/her extreme mental state may frighten or inconvenience them.

Significant recovery is a real possibility. Recovery is a natural process that can occur gently in a sane, healthy environment and can be fostered through authentic relationships. Grouping severely disturbed people in one place of treatment, such as a mental institution, risks the health of both clients and staff and may actually prevent recovery. Recovery is facilitated only when a genuine sense of friendship is fostered among caring people, both staff and clients.

Recovery requires community. A healing community is one that promotes the well-being of each of its members. The community begins with the client’s own home, and includes housemates, family, and friends. A therapeutic treatment team extends this community to the world at large.

Compassionate care can be taught. Windhorse has developed training techniques that cultivate empathy as a skill. Contemplative practices from many healing traditions can foster this skill. These are skills that deepen the quality of relationships, and these authentic therapeutic relationships are the foundation of the work together. Using these techniques and practices in clinical work creates the buoyancy and patience required to attend to someone on the arduous journey of recovery.
 
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BTW you don't have to live in Yorkshire to stay at the house, you might be from abroad, it doesn't matter where you are, just as long as you can get a visa, or whatever is needed to stay. There is no cost, and all the money for the house has come from donations from the local community and others interested in the project.

And there is no specific time limit to how long you want to stay, however, there is only one person at a time to gain support, but will live with two other housemates, some may have gone through the process of staying at the house themselves. There is also extra bedrooms so you can invite anyone you want to stay over. Also you get to choose who you want, out of the team of volunteers, to live with you and support you. The support will be based on what your needs are rather than the service's needs.
 
SarahD

SarahD

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That sounds wonderful. How do you apply? I bet there is a long waiting list.
 
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It's in it's early stages, and I can't discuss what is happening in the house - we keep things confidential - but what I can do is put you in touch with the co-ordinator.

It's difficult doing this over a forum, because I don't want to put her contact details on here - but what I can do, is speak to her, and say I have got some interest, and we will find a way to contact you - or you us, so don't worry.

We are also careful of who we invite, so we would have regular contact with you before you come to the house, find out who you are and your needs, and make sure that everything is in place to make sure you feel safe at the house, and make sure it's something that you will like.

All the volunteers are very lovely, very open and honest, and in each meeting we have such a good laugh - whoever is getting support, will be a part of that community. The co-ordinator is also keen to support the support network of who is getting support at the house, so that might been family members and/or friends - whoever is supporting you.
 
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If you want - there is a summer camp in the scottish borders

Working to Recovery - Recovery Camp

there are still some places left, but book quickly if you want to come - it is £80 from Sunday to Friday, lots of speakers from around the world, Rufus May, Ron Coleman, Marius Roome, native american healers, etc. During the day will be workshops and talks from people, during the evening will have musicians, comedy sketches, performances, group games.

But all of the volunteers from Soteria are going, and we will be doing a workshop I believe, if you're interested in the house, you could meet us at the camp, spend the week with us, see if you like us and find out more.
 
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not in the way NHS does, but in a different way, be communicating with people who know you, whoever you work with, just to see if the house is right for you, and we can give you the kind of support you need.

We cannot take on anyone who will be abusive to the volunteers, so we have to offer some judgement. But we would get to know you first before anyone came to live at the house. We would invite you up and spend time with you, so the risk assessment would be formed like that, through getting to know you as you are now, rather than whatever has happened in the past.
 
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Callalily

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Thanks for this, I was wondering if you were able to share anything about costings for staying there?
 
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it's free for people who are receiving support - after this and if they want to be a housemate offering support - then they pay rent, but it's cheap - I think £35/week - and bills are paid for
 
LORD BURT

LORD BURT

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I don't reckon I would be the type who they would accept. There is always a selections process.
 
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you never know, this might be a negative thought you've got about yourself
 
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ramboghettouk

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if something sounds too good to be true it usually is too good to be true, getting to know me, i'm in london thats yorkshire, any references well no one knows me, suspect money makes a big difference when doesn't it
 
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ramboghettouk

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the original soteria house was in the news an ex patient came back and killed someone, they made a big thing about it been an ex patient but thats an issue, the only record of what happens afterward is that ex patient coming back violent
 
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