Open Up Ground Rules

  1. Turn off phones or switch to silent.
  2. It’s important that we feel safe to share here; we live in a small community so it’s important to respect each other and be mindful not to repeat each other’s stories. Anything that is shared here stays in this room, "can we all agree on this?"
  3. Nobody is required to speak, if you’d prefer to just listen that is completely okay. Some of the best feedback has come from just listening.
  4. When one person speaks we all actively listen. This means when someone shares, we don’t just wait for our own turn to speak - but we use all of our attention to really listen and understand them.
  5. Respect people's right to express themselves however they wish. Reserve judgment and be accepting of everyone’s unique life experiences and perspective.
  6. Be mindful of the sharing the time, so that everyone has the opportunity to speak. 
  7. Awkward silences are also okay – they’re not that awkward once you get used to it.
  8. If at any point you feel like you need to get up for some fresh air, please feel free to do so. Also - the toilets are (point out the location).
  9. Please only speak from your own personal and lived experience. Ultimately, that is what these sessions are for. 
  10. Lastly, please do notgive advice - If you’ve found something that’s helped you, you may share this with the group as your own personal experience. Open Up is not therapy. It is an opportunity to listen and be heard.


It is important to remember that Open Up is a community support group, and not a professional mental health care service. If you need extra support, or have further questions about your own mental health, please do not hesitate to reach out to a trained professional at anytime (24/7) at Lifeline on 13 11 14. In cases of emergency, always call 000.