SUN (Service User Network)

SUN (Service User Network) is a new, easy to access community-based service for adults  experiencing difficulties with complex emotions often associated with personality disorder. These emotions can affect how a person feels, copes with life and manages relationships.

Who can benefit from SUN?

SUN is for people who:

  • have been diagnosed with personality disorder
  • would describe themselves as having complex emotional needs but have not received a diagnosis of personality disorder

Some of the issues a person may be experiencing, include:

How they relate to themselves

  • low self-esteem, consistent feelings of emptiness and/or a lack of or uncertain sense of self, difficulty in connecting with their own emotions, setting themselves unrealistically high standards
  • difficulty with intense, overwhelming or fluctuating emotions, or difficulty recognising or expressing emotions
  • feeling of behaviour being out of control and difficulty in setting and working towards goals

How they relate to other people:

  • difficulty in coping  with or resolving conflicts and also connecting or empathising with others, difficulty finding a balance between own needs and needs of others

Current or previous use of alcohol or drugs to cope with difficulties

What happens at a SUN group?

Attending a SUN peer support group helps people to get the support they need and gives them the opportunity to share their experience to help others. Each group meeting follows the same three stage format with breaks in between each stage:

Check In: People can talk about how they are feeling and what they would like to get out of the group.

Support Forum: A discussion about topics or themes raised at the Check In so people can share experiences and provide one another with advice.

Check Out: People can talk about how they are feeling at the end of the group and what advice they have received that they will be taking away with them.

The role of clinicians and peer support workers at SUN groups

A clinician and a peer support worker will act as the facilitators for each group. They will introduce each session and ensure the group follows the set format. They will also participate in the discussions where this is helpful and where this is needed.

During the breaks, the facilitators will leave each session but you can choose whether or not you would like to remain on the virtual call to talk to others in the group.

All the work in SUN is done within the group as the peer support element is key. The facilitators do not spend individual time with members.

Confidentiality

Everyone attending the group is asked to respect each other's confidentiality and to not disclose anything discussed within the group outside of the group.

How to participate in SUN groups

Please note, we are having some temporary technical difficulties with the link to the membership form below. Until this is resolved, please either email us at sun.admin@sabp.nhs.uk or call us on: 01372 216700 if you would like to register to become a member and attend SUN groups.

To attend SUN groups, you will need to become a SUN member. To do this, simply click here and complete the membership form. Once we have received this, our SUN admin team will contact you to book you on to your first group.

To complete the membership process, you will also need to fill in a Resource and Support Plan (RASP) at your first two SUN groups.

What is a RASP?

A RASP helps SUN to understand the needs of each  SUN member and how to support them. It clarifies the steps you take to cope with stress and any challenges in life so that SUN knows how best to help you in times of crisis.  It also aims to support your general wellbeing and help you to plan ahead if you know you are going to be facing a difficult situation. Because SUN groups are about encouraging mutual support, the RASP also asks you to think about your role in supporting others and what may make this easier or harder at times.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions about SUN that you would like answered before deciding whether or not to become a member, please complete this enquiry form and our SUN admin team will get back to you. Alternatively, you can also contact us by emailing SUN admin at: sun.admin@sabp.nhs.uk or calling: 01372 216700.

Further information

Click on the following links to read the:

 

When are SUN groups held?

SUN groups are currently being held virtually due to current social distancing  restrictions.

Once you have completed an online membership form, SUN admin will send you a Microsoft Teams invite and instructions on how to attend your first SUN group. To ensure the virtual groups work well, SUN admin will manage the number of people attending each group. This is why you will need to book a place at each group you wish to attend.

We are currently running several virtual groups a week. These are held on:

  • Mondays, 2pm-4.30pm
  • Tuesdays, 2pm-4.30pm
  • Wednesdays, 10am-12.30pm 
  • Thursdays, 2-4.30pm
  • Fridays, 10am-12.30pm and, from 9th July 2021, we will also be offering a group from 2pm-4.30pm

Cancellations

We will always try to ensure that all SUN groups run as planned. But there may be occasions when a group is cancelled as a result of staff absence or training. In these instances, our SUN Admin team will aim to contact Sun group members as soon as possible via email or text informing them of the cancellation.

Join a virtual meeting to find out more about SUN

We hold a virtual meeting on the first Thursday of every month, from 11.30-12.30pm.  At these meetings, we will go into more detail about how SUN works and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you have about the service.

To book onto a meeting, please email: sun.admin@sabp.nhs.uk

About Personality Disorder

At any given time, about one in twenty people will have a personality disorder.  Some may only have mild difficulties and seek support at times of stress, others may have more severe difficulties which impact their wellbeing, relationships and every day lives. It is important to say that even though a person's difficulties may be long standing, there is much that can be done to help.

You can find out more about personality disorder here:

NHS

Mind

Rethink

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Data sharing

Our health professionals only collect the personal data required to ensure a person receives the support they need. For more information about how data is held, please go to our information sharing page.

Delivered in partnership with Community Connections
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