This was the week that Echo closed its doors, and although it was a service that had recognition for it’s good work, it was a service that the government failed to see.
But it is not yet dead!
Brighter Futures have taken it under their wing until next April/March, which is when their funding comes under review from the same government branch that has pulled funding from Echo and NSV (North Staffs Voice), so for a time there is hope
(The term ‘human’ from this point on could refer to any person who has the working knowledge of patients in a time spent capacity. I.e counsellor, Psychotherapist, Psychologist, Therapist etc.)
The service will be the same but less than, in the sense the space will be shared. However the Swan Bank Church (I believe I have that right) has done the group a massive favour by waiving the fee for the room that gets used by the Art Group until March.
As for the group sessions, well their lies an interesting path that could be taken. No longer is it a CBT session created by a – lets say a ‘human’ – but it is at the moment being taken from those clinical self help books, that I personally find patronising at times. And in this transformation the sessions are getting a little more – generic.
Or is it?
If it was possible to get someone to put the ‘human’ back into the sessions, and still have it slanted towards self harm, after all it could be said all negative behaviours that limit our growth and recovery could come under this banner, but at the same time have a platform that could be taken out under a wider range of banners, with slight tweaking, then the opportunities to fund the ‘human’ to write the sessions is greatly expanded.
This person could also, and it seems like they want more of an active participation from group members to run groups, do, what it seems like my fast becoming standard reply to this suggestion – Training.
This is also where the evolution of ECHO could come.
ECHO became less of a thing, and more of a package. As it stood it was the only one of its kind in the UK, so I have been told, and as it stands now, it is part of something else. As an idea, concept, movement, whatever you want to call it it could be shared. Shared between different charities, and therefore the cost for the ‘human’ could be shared as well. But it also holds that if active participation of the running of the groups is by members, and I am talking about trained/vetted/coached members here, then that could extend the reach to places outside of what is currently available.
This has the possibility of having a snowball effect and reaching many, many more people.
And unlike the clinical CBT training, ECHO membership is life long, for as long as you need it, NOT 12 weeks and your done.
It could even evolve far beyond this vision in time.
So yes, there is hope.