Help in a Crisis
If you’re in a crisis situation (e.g. you’re having suicidal thoughts and feelings, you’re thinking about harming yourself or someone else, or you have seriously hurt yourself), the mental health charity Mind provides advice, resources and contact numbers here.
Counselling and Support Groups
If you’re in the Southampton area, please visit our Peer Support Groups page to find out about forthcoming events.
Local branches of Mind, and local charities like London Friend, MindOut (Brighton), LGBT Foundation (Manchester) and Chrysalis (Southampton) in the UK, offer LGBTQ+ specific support – including trained counsellors, support groups, workshops and resources. There are also national charities like Mermaids (for trans and non-binary children and their parents) and the Naz and Matt Foundation (for people facing homophobia or transphobia within religious communities, or rejection by religious parents), as well as groups and organisations that work specifically with LGBT+ people of a particular religion or culture.
We are compiling a list of these groups and organisations, so watch this space! Meanwhile, Google is your friend… as are the alternative search engines that do good stuff, like Ecosia, which plants trees, and Everyclick, which makes a small donation to the charity of your choice every time you search for something, so you can feel better about yourself while looking for information on how to feel better 🙂
Our Self-Care Strategies
Reconnecting Rainbows doesn’t provide crisis mental health care or trained counsellors, but we can teach you ‘The Four Keys to Mental Wellbeing’ – a set of self-care strategies that may help you to improve your own mental health. People with mild to moderate depression, anxiety, gender dysphoria and PTSD, as well as those who are experiencing mental health distress after a homophobic or transphobic incident, can often benefit from using some or all of these strategies.
Please note that these strategies are not a substitute for conventional medical treatment, counselling or therapy. If your mental health difficulties are severe or getting worse, or if you are already being treated for a mental health condition, consult your GP before starting any lifestyle change programme.
Our Four Keys self-care strategies are:
- Reconnecting with Nature – ‘The Key to Peace’
- Reconnecting with Creativity – ‘The Key to Purpose’
- Reconnecting with Community – ‘The Key to Passion’
- Reconnecting with Movement – ‘The Key to Power’
Download our free ‘Four Keys’ PDF guide to learn more about these strategies and join our mailing list*
* By opting in to our mailing list, you are giving Reconnecting Rainbows permission to contact you about special offers, events and resources that may be of interest to you. We will hold your personal data (first name and e-mail address) securely and use it for this purpose only, and promise never to share it with anyone else. If you no longer wish to receive mailings from us, you can follow the link in any of our e-mails to unsubscribe at any time.
Our ‘Four Keys to Mental Wellbeing’ online course can help you to transform your own mental wellbeing by learning these strategies and making an action plan to fit them into your daily or weekly routine. The course includes an introductory module, four modules dedicated to the separate strategies, and an action-planning module – each consisting of a pre-recorded PowerPoint presentation and a PDF e-book. For a one-off investment of £39.99, you will be able to download all of the course materials and use them at your own pace. You’ll also be invited to join a private Facebook group where you can share your experiences with the program or post questions.
The Rainbow Leadership Academy
After completing the Four Keys online course, you might find yourself inspired to learn about these mental wellbeing strategies in more depth and train as a facilitator to support others in using them.
Our groundbreaking Rainbow Leadership Academy is the first life coaching program that directly links the Diversity and Inclusion agenda to LGBTQ+ mental wellbeing. While the Academy is open to everyone, and we’ll never pressure you to talk about your gender identity or sexual orientation unless you want to, this program will be especially beneficial for people with lived experience of gender dysphoria and/or internalised homophobia, transphobia, enbyphobia, etc. The course provides a balance of these six elements, which are interwoven throughout the 12 modules:
Loving Your Selves – getting to know your 19 distinct ‘selves’ or sub-personalities, each with its shadow side, and how they express themselves differently to make up your whole personality. This systematic way of breaking free from harmful gender stereotypes, based on Ashley Jay Brockwell’s forthcoming book Queer Ways To Wellbeing: Reigniting Our Creativity, Rebuilding Our Community and Reclaiming Our Destiny as LGBTQIA+ People, can help you love and accept yourself more fully – embracing all the aspects that you were never allowed to express as a child.
Shining Brighter – boosting your self-esteem and confidence so you can step out boldly as the person you were born to become. You’ll learn how to share your unique message with bigger audiences, without watering it down or hiding your true self, and how to break through the internal fear barrier.
Building Resilience – discovering how to carry on in the face of homophobic or transphobic harassment, recognise the ‘shadow selves’ that those difficult people are reflecting back to you, maintain an unshakeable sense of identity and purpose, and bring abusers to justice.
Defending Diversity – understanding the 2010 Equality Act as the legal basis for Diversity and Inclusion training in the UK, and practical strategies for promoting diversity and inclusion in different settings. This section can be tailored to your particular needs, e.g. focusing on education, health care, churches or the voluntary sector.
Finding the Keys to Wellbeing – discovering the evidence base underpinning each of the ‘Four Keys to Mental Wellbeing’ self-care strategies, and learning to facilitate Four Keys training sessions online and/or face to face, according to your personal situation.
Values-Based Strategic Planning – learning to facilitate workshops that help you understand what matters to people within an organisation, and integrate your ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ and ‘Four Keys to Wellbeing’ interventions seamlessly with what’s already valued. A successful VBSP session is one that leaves everyone (a) passionate about your plan, and (b) convinced they thought it up themselves!
The program consists of 12 x 60-minute, one-to-one, live online coaching sessions – one per month from February 2018 to January 2019 – and a bonus ‘Lucky Thirteenth’ session lasting 90 minutes that you can book at any time. All sessions are delivered through a video interface of your choice – usually Skype, Google Hangout or Facebook Video, but we’re open to other possibilities – or by telephone if preferred. Each session is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation and downloadable PDF booklet to accompany each session, as well as access to the main Four Keys Facebook group and a private Facebook group specifically for this programme.