We All Believe in You (WABIY) members meet up in Edmonton three times per week. These meetings are intended to provide a safe space for those struggling with mental illness to connect with, and seek support from, other like-minded people from within their community. We currently offer two meeting formats: in-person group meetings where attendees are supported in sharing and supporting each other in a safe, closed environment, and walk/run groups that are less formal in nature but offer a similar safe space to be as you are and to get active outside in nature.
Catering for individuals aged 18+, our in-person meetings are facilitated by members of the WABIY Leadership Team who are also part of the WABIY peer-support community.
Where to Find Us
Our in-person meetings support meetings are held at the Timbre Workshop & Studios, 5420 82 Ave NW, Edmonton.
Mondays: 7-9pm (lobby opens at 6:30pm)
Thursdays: 7-9pm (lobby opens at 6:30pm)
What to Expect?
Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that aim to describe the general meeting structure and expectations. We understand that a lot of participants feel a heightened sense of anxiety before their first meeting, so we hope that these answers can put your mind at ease. If you still have further questions, please feel free to reach out to us on our Facebook community page or send us an email!
DO I NEED TO REGISTER TO ATTEND? ↯
You do not need to pre-register to attend a support meeting, simply drop-in whenever you’re available to attend!
WHAT HAPPENS AT MY FIRST PEER SUPPORT MEETING? ↯
Before your first meeting, there is a short contact form to complete and sign to ensure that you are comfortable and able to conform to the meeting guidelines. Tea, coffee, and snacks are offered in the building lobby before the meeting room opens at the designated time, allowing for attendees to connect and meet each other before the gathering begins.
WHAT HAPPENS AT MY FIRST WALK/RUN MEETING? ↯
We will meet you at the bottom of the Royal Glenora Stairs where you'll be asked to complete a simple waiver that outlines the guidelines and applicable agreement statements. We then head out as a group around the River Valley and simply enjoy moving and being outside. The run group caters for all paces in a format that keeps everyone together. The facilitator will remain at the back of the group, and the speedier runners are given direction to run a certain distance or to a specific location, then turn around and rejoin the back of the group before heading out again. This ensures that nobody is ever left alone, regardless of pace. Generally we will cover around 5km, and there is never any pressure to run the entire route; run-walking is a thing!
WHAT DOES THE MEETING SPACE LOOK LIKE? ↯
The meeting room itself is full of giant beanbags, couches, blankets and chairs, as well as comfortable rugs for those who prefer to ground on the floor. There is a board table with chairs along one wall, and the rest of the furniture covers the other three walls. There are two separate washrooms next to the meeting room that can be used at any time.
HOW DO THE MEETINGS BEGIN? ↯
Once everyone is settled, we begin with short introductions (“Hi, my name is _ and I go by [insert pronouns].”) and answer a simple prompt set by the meeting facilitator such as “What was the best part of your week?”. There is no obligation to answer the prompt if you are not comfortable, or if you can’t think of anything - you can simply choose to pass.
I’M NOT SURE WHETHER I WANT TO SHARE ANYTHING, OR WHAT TO SAY. DO I HAVE TO SPEAK? ↯
While we encourage all participants to play an active role in meetings, there is never an expectation for anyone to speak or share - simply taking the steps to get there in the first place is more than enough. In order to help the facilitators to guide the meetings, if you think that you might like to share at some point, we ask that you take a LEGO figurine from the box in the middle of the floor at the beginning of the meeting. This LEGO indicates that we will need to make time for you to share during the meeting and ensures that everybody gets an opportunity to speak if they’d like. If you take a LEGO but later decide that you no longer wish to share, simply put your LEGO back into the box (we like to see who can throw it in there on the first try!).
HOW LONG AM I ALLOWED TO SPEAK/SHARE FOR? ↯
Meetings tend to play out differently depending on the number of attendees and the general mood of the group. The facilitator(s) will ensure that everyone is given an opportunity to speak, and that nobody is monopolizing unnecessarily. There will be a bathroom break mid-meeting to allow people to stretch their legs or use the facilities as needed. On occasion, the facilitator may decide to split the meeting into two areas of focus - one will be the general open sharing and supporting, and the second half may be open discussion around a specific topic outlined by the facilitator (for example, ‘What brings you hope?’ or, ‘How do you like to relax and de-clutter your mind?’). As with the general open format, nobody is obligated to share during this portion of the meeting.
WILL I RECEIVE COUNSELLING OR THERAPY AT THE MEETINGS? ↯
No. WABIY meetings are strictly peer-support gatherings and are not a place to seek professional psychological advice or support. All advice and support offered during meetings is experiential in nature and not guided by professional standards. If it seems that you require more support than we are able to provide, we will offer referrals and resources to professional services. Our facilitators will also work to ensure that individuals are discouraged from offering unsolicited or unqualified advice.
WHAT TYPE OF SUPPORT CAN I EXPECT AT THE MEETINGS? ↯
Participants are required to sign an agreement regarding the level of support and advice that will be shared. Individuals can choose to ask for advice and support after they have shared their update, or may simply opt to share and move on without others’ input - both are equally fine and welcomed. Advice or support may look like suggesting techniques or avenues of support that others have sought for similar issues, suggestions of books, educational resources or online tools, or asking thought-provoking questions to help you to sort through your struggles with others. None of the feedback is intended to be professional in nature, and the facilitators are on-hand to ensure that everyone is adhering to the WABIY guidelines.
WHAT IF I NEED TO LEAVE PART-WAY THROUGH A MEETING? ↯
While we ask that participants stay for the duration of the meeting to decrease interruptions, we also understand that the nature of sharing in a group setting can be emotionally taxing. If you are feeling triggered or anxious during a meeting, please let the facilitator know that you need to step away from the meeting, or that you are leaving all together. We will check-in after the meeting to ensure that you are safe and have some suitable support.