Support groups hosted by Mental Health America of Greater Dallas are a safe, confidential, supportive environment. Our code of conduct is our standard through which we honor the needs, safety, and overall wellbeing of our groups. MHA of Greater Dallas reserves the right to amend its code at any time as needed for the benefit and safety of the support groups. To participate in an MHA of Greater Dallas support group meeting, members must sign and agree to abide by our code of conduct. Thank you for honoring our safe space.

  1.  Confidentiality– Group members and facilitators are prohibited to disclose private and personal details shared in the meetings. This includes divulging the identity or personal data of group members such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

                     Exceptions to confidentiality are:

      1.  If a member expresses intent to harm themselves or others/ or is in danger
      2. Suspected child abuse or neglect
      3. Suspected elder abuse or neglect
      4. Suspected abuse of a disabled individual
      5. Suspected animal abuse or neglect

  1. Group Etiquette Everyone has a right to feel safe at our meetings. Members are expected to participate in a group setting appropriately.

    1. Participation by Video and Microphone for online group meetings are expected and highly encouraged, however, facilitators reserve the right to make exceptions for individuals to participate through audio-only or through the chatbox, if they have asked special permission from the facilitator and provided a reason for the accommodation.

    2. Do your best to arrive on time and stay for the duration. If you arrive late or need to leave early, please do so as quietly as possible out of respect to fellow members. When you arrive late, please note that your opportunity to share will be at the end of the group, after everyone else has shared.

    3. As you enter the group, please turn cell phones to vibrate or off. If you must take a call, please exit the room as quietly as possible to minimize the disturbance to your fellow members, and quietly take your seat upon your return. Please save texts for after group. Every member deserves our full attention.

    4. To the best of the participant’s abilities, they will:
      1. Listen to participants without interrupting 
      2. Avoid personal or side conversations during the meeting, as they are a disruption to the flow of the group.
      3. Be accepting of differences including social, ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic differences.
      4. Be mindful and respectful of each member’s individual journey, where they are in their recovery journey.
      5. Respect each other’s opinions
      6. Refrain from Judging people
      7. Use person-first language, e.g., a person with diabetes, not, a diabetic.

  2. Safety Requirements- Everyone has a right to feel safe at our meetings. MHA of Greater Dallas will not allow the mistreatment of our members, nor will we allow excuses for it. A successful support group involves cooperation and awareness of your personal contribution to the health and well-being of the group. We welcome everyone who is seeking help and can demonstrate sympathy, trust, and caring.

    1. Based on the nature of support groupsmany possibilities exist for individuals to become triggered or feel unsafe. Facilitators have full discretion to list topics to be avoided. If you find yourself becoming too upset or distressed, it is perfectly acceptable to take a walk in the hallway whenever you need a break. If you need additional support, alert your facilitator.

    2. Polarizing, provoking, controversial topics that are unrelated to the group discussion are not welcome; examples are but not limited to abortion, politics, religious preaching, graphic war descriptions, vaccines, etc. unless it specifically is tied into your personal story or sharing.

    3. One individual may not dominate the discussion, and the facilitator reserves the right to intervene.

    4. When individuals are sharing a personal issue, do not interrupt or offer unsolicited advice; ask permission first from the individual. The facilitator has the right to request that conversation be conducted after the group meeting.

    5. Participants or facilitators are not to be under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs while attending the groups.

    6. Please be aware, that our support groups may not be the appropriate environment for everyone. If a member becomes verbally or physically abusive or disrespectful to another member or facilitator, the facilitator will ask to speak with you alone and remind you of our code of conduct. If the disruptive behavior persists or makes others feel unsafe and/or unwelcome for more than two documented times, with the assistance of MHA of Greater Dallas staff members, the facilitators reserve the right to remove the individual and revoke their right to participate in MHA of Greater Dallas’ support groups. You can appeal this decision to the Executive Director. 


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