For, by, and about people with multiplicity, dissociation, and amnesia

Christmas wishes 2013

A final word from those of us involved with the DI this year – thankyou for everyone who has been involved in our community! It is a privilege to share your journey, learn from your wisdom, and celebrate with you the joy and sadness of what it is to be human.

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it! May you find or create meaning and love in your life, and built your own traditions of self care and connection. I (Sarah) wanted to give some gifts to you and in your name, especially for anyone who is struggling financially or emotionally over this season, but also to celebrate our community and what we can share and bring to the lives of others. This year I have given gifts of Toys, Blankets, School Pencils, and Fast Growing Seeds, to try and meet a little of each important need – nourishment, warmth, education, and something that brings joy and encourages imagination. I hope each of you are able to find ways to meet these needs in yourselves and your own communities.

Christmas gift - toys

Christmas gift - blankets

Christmas gift - pencils

 

Christmas gift - seeds

Much love, Sarah xx

 

New dates have been set! Both are free, one is within school/work hours, one outside of them. The same talk will presented at each time.

6.30 -8pm, Thursday 19th Dec

OR

11.30am – 1pm, Friday 20th Dec

Mental Illness Fellowship of SA, 5 Cooke Terrace, Wayville

This is the presentation I (Sarah) recently delivered at the World Hearing Voices Congress in Melbourne. It will run for an hour with an opportunity to ask questions. The talk was developed to help close a gap in the Mental Health First Aid training, which does not mention dissociative crisis. Principles of crisis work are covered, as well as recognising and usefully responding to severe general dissociation, and common crisis points for people with parts (Dissociative Identity Disorder, or ‘multiple personalities’). Sarah is a peer worker with lived experience of severe dissociation and DID, and many years experience in supporting other people in crisis.

Books from the DI Library will be on display, as will our Healthy Multiplicity Poster. This talk is suitable for mental health workers, clinicians, people with lived experience, and friends and family. Please feel welcome to share this information.

Please RSVP directly to Mifsa on (08) 8378 4100. If you have any questions, please contact Sarah at sarah @di.org.au

Goals for SA

I (Sarah) am back from the World Hearing Voices Congress in Melbourne, with some new goals, ideas, and supportive people on board. One of the most important of these is a number of people keen to support the development of a Voice Hearing network here in South Australia. Obviously I’m passionate about our DI aims and resources also, which complement the VH network but are also distinct. We are going to have discussions about what we can do and the best format for a new, better supported local network – and how it might be part of many other national and international communities who are also doing work around dissociation, the mad pride movement, alternative paradigms for supporting mental health, social justice, and community development.

Here are the plans for the next weeks and months:

  • Rest, recover, catch up on sleep, look after myself (ongoing!)
  • Write up an article about every talk I attended at the congress to share publicly for those who couldn’t attend (I have fairly comprehensive notes)
  • Touch base with my friends over at Mifsa about the congress and the possibility of a new SA network
  • Touch base with my friends involved in the DI about these things
  • Touch base with my local HV group Sound Minds about these things
  • Touch base with other supportive and passionate people for suggestions and advice about mental health networks, community building, and social change – particularly those with experience in these areas
  • Hold a free local talk in SA, the same one I offered at the Congress “Supporting Someone in a Dissociative Crisis”
  • Meet up with people who have put up their hand as interested parties for a local SA network and start to develop some relationships and teams
  • Open the conversation about networks and resources up to everyone via internet discussions and local community gatherings

To keep posted on these developments, please follow this blog or join our Online Discussion Group. If you would like to be involved or attend some of these things, let us know!

Day one of the Congress is over and it has been an amazing experience with deep conversations about identity, meaning, madness, power, community, and diversity. Dissociation and multiplicity are both featured topics which is exciting and wonderfully inclusive. If you are interested in following the congress as it unfolds, Sarah is sharing quotes and thoughts on twitter @sarahkreece. We will be writing more about the conference once it is over.

Talk Postponed!

Apologies for the late notice, the SA talk Supporting Someone in a Dissociative Crisis this Thursday has been postponed due to illness. We are planning to reschedule this talk for later this year, will keep you posted.

Hello everyone,

A quick update from us here at the DI. Things have been very busy lately. Bridges is currently on a break as most of the facilitators are extremely busy with other projects. It will be re-jigged so that a regular meeting of some kind can be set up again soon. The online supports are still running as is Echoes in Melbourne. In the meantime focus is on the World Hearing Voices Congress in Melbourne in a couple of weeks. I’m going to be giving a talk Supporting Someone in a Dissociative Crisis, and presenting a Poster about Multiplicity. For those of us here in SA, this same talk will be given free of charge, this Thursday at the Mental Illness Fellowship of SA. Here’s a flyer with all the details. Hope to see you there.

Best wishes,

Sarah K Reece

Hello all,

I’ve yet to find someone who can manage the newsletters so I’m sorry that updating has become so erratic. This month the most exciting news is that we’ll have a strong presence at at this years World Hearing Voices Congress in Melbourne in November! I’ll be speaking on the topic of Supporting someone through a dissociative crisis, and also submitting a poster about  “About Multiplicity” for display . Hurrah! You can read the abstracts I wrote here. We are expecting to also have three other DI group facilitators present which is unprecedented! This conference is a truly incredible opportunity to become steeped in the approach of the Hearing Voices movement, which have been the basis of a great deal of our work here at the DI. I highly recommend attending if you have the opportunity.

Bridges has navigated the move to a new format. We are about to celebrate our second birthday with the traditional Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and one of the challenges we were struggling to manage effectively was the different needs of our new members and our long term members. The day group meets fortnightly and has been reformed back to the style of group that we started with particularly aimed at newer members. Members suggest topics for discussion around the management of dissociation and multiplicity. Our small team of facilitators volunteer time to provide support and share from their own experiences.

The evening fortnightly group has been closed to provide a safe place for our long term members. This group has moved to a tight-knit friendship format, being held in members homes over dinner. It has become a private space for members to connect, relax, play, and support each other. We’ve spent the past few months bumping along trying different approaches and this seems to be the one that meets the most needs at the moment.

The DI Board has come back together after a period of illness and/or demanding life circumstances for most members. We’ve reflected upon the demands of a board entirely formed of peer workers, and running a not-for-profit and the conclusion has been that we all value having the DI as an organisation very much and wish to continue developing it. We are planning to meet bi-monthly to work on the next administrative needs of the organisation.

The DI Open Group on Facebook is growing steadily, with 170 members currently. Hopefully we will be able to recruit some more volunteers soon to help us to manage our online resources. If you think you might be able to help out, please get in touch! sarah@di.org.au

One of the recent topics of discussion in Bridges was nightmares, here are some relevant links you may find useful:

Best wishes,

Sarah K Reece

Hello everyone,

It’s been a long time since we’ve been putting out regular newsletters, for which I apologise! It’s great to keep everyone up to date with developments, but I’ve been rather swamped with keeping resources running and haven’t had much time to talk about them too. 🙂 This year the big news is our lovely new website. We have moved from blogger to wordpress as the format is more suitable for hosting a lot of information as we expand the website. We will be updating our online address to a simpler one soon, and then changing the DI postcards. It’s a little bit of a process but the end result is easier for people to find, share, and print from.

Bridges is undergoing a big change this year – we are moving to a new structure to allow us to better support our working group members. Bridges is our face to face weekly support group in Adelaide, now it will be running in the afternoon once and fortnight, and the evening every other fortnight. See the new flyer here. We’ve been fortunate to have a new wonderful peer worker Melanie come on board to assist with the evening group. Please get in touch before coming to confirm if that week is an afternoon or evening group.

We are working together on a number of projects and looking to recruit volunteers to help out. Right at the moment we would love to have some more poeple helping to run the Open Facebook Group, people to manage printing and mailing the welcome packs through Mifsa locally, and people who can help us with building a Professional Referral Directory. We are also looking into fundraising opportunities.

We are keen to support new groups around Australia, to offer educational forums and workshops, and to reach out to people who support those of us who live with dissociation. If you can help, or have any other suggestions about projects and resources that would help you, please get in touch.

Best wishes and take care,

Sarah K Reece

Early newsletter issued from our original website on blogspot. Please be aware that not all the contact details and so on are current.

Dissociation Link Volume 1, Issue 6

  • Groups Continuing to Grow
  • Brochures and Flyers
  • New Books in the Library
  • Dealing with your Denial

Early newsletter issued from our original website on blogspot. Please be aware that not all the contact details and so on are current.

Dissociation Link Volume 1, Issue 5

  • The Dissociative Initiative Developments
  • Understanding Dissociation
  • Grounding Kits
  • Welcome Pack