Welcome to the Soteria Brighton website. Soteria Brighton was formed in 2011 with the aim of establishing a Soteria House and related services in Brighton for people experiencing ‘psychosis’ (including what is sometimes referred to as ‘schizophrenia’). At present we do not provide any services. However, our meetings are open to all, and we do organise other events from time to time (see below for more details). Soteria Brighton consists of a core group of around 20 members who meet regularly to develop the group, and a growing mailing list of those who wish to keep up with developments and support us in other ways. The core group consists of individuals with a personal and/or professional interest in developing the Soteria approach. We believe that it is healthy to have a mixture of professionals, carers, and those who have experienced ‘psychosis’ in our group, and welcome anyone who has an interest in seeing a greater variety of mental health services in Brighton to our meetings. We are looking for more people to help us realise our goals, so if you are interested, do get in touch.

Soteria cafe project

Following a recent visit by Soteria Brighton to the Dragon Cafe http://dragoncafe.co.uk/  in London, we have felt there may be a need for something similar in Brighton. Dragon Cafe grew gradually from small beginnings into the inspiring and vibrant project it is today.

We are currently researching how we might plant a similar seed in Brighton. If you feel similarly inspired, or have specific skills that might help to progress the project, please do get involved by coming to one of our monthly meetings. You will be very welcome.

Promoting Choice

We believe that it is time to establish a greater diversity of services for people experiencing ‘psychosis’, alternatives to traditional psychiatric services which more closely reflect what service users say they need, and which do not rely on coercion/compulsion, or on such extensive use of antipsychotic medication, but rather on collaboration. The Soteria model provides this, with supporting evidence from Soteria projects and other similar approaches around the world.

The Soteria model originated in the early 1970s in the US, a residential community established by Loren Mosher for people experiencing psychosis for the first time, in order to research how they fared in a psychosocial environment with minimal medication, but substantial interpersonal support. What they found was that people did just as well, if not better, and with significantly less medication. Further details about our aims, as well as the Soteria model and the evidence base for it can be found on our about page.

Getting Involved

There are various ways that you can get involved in our group. As indicated above, you are welcome to come along to our monthly meetings, where you can find out what we’ve been doing, share ideas, network, and take on pieces of work if that feels good (you can find details of our next meeting in the sidebar on the left). There is an emphasis in the group on the health of all involved, and there is no obligation to take on any work outside of meetings, though if you are able to do so that would be great. An evolving vision such as ours can only succeed if we make it happen!

If you are interested in becoming a member of our group the best way to let us know is to come along to a meeting. Once you are a member you’ll have access to the members area of this website, which is where most of the activity takes place between meetings. The members area is a mixture of a communication/networking tool, a wiki with all sorts of resources pertinent to the group, and a project management tool. Because of this online members area, it is possible to become a member of our group without attending meetings. It may be for instance that you would like to get more involved/support us from a distance. If you are interested in this, then please contact us. We have various subgroups within the Soteria Brighton group for focusing our work into specific areas, such as our service model, research, fundraising, etc, and there is a section for each subgroup in the members area. So if you are interesting in getting involved in just a specific area of our work, you can do so.

Other ways of getting involved are to subscribe to our mailing list. You will find a small form to do so at the top right of this page. Signing up to the mailing list means that you’ll get occasional news from us (no more than once a month on average). You might also like to support us by making a donation to the group. Making a donation helps us to develop our work. Currently we have set ourselves the target of raising £5000 over the next six months, primarily to support the work that we need to do, but also because we need to generate an income of £5000 to become a registered charity. If you would like and are able to help us meet our target then you can do so via our donation page. There are also other ways of helping us raise funds, such as coming along to our fundraising events in the Brighton area (sign up to our mailing list or keep an eye on our events page to stay informed about upcoming events). Finally you can use the link on our donation page to redirect to Amazon’s website before making any purchases from Amazon, as in this way 5% of any purchases you make will be donated to the group.

As well as organising fundraising events, we also arrange social events from time to time, such as walks in the countryside, and we will post details of these on the website. Feel free to come along.