MindOut’s Darren Flint on supporting LGBTQ Relationships

What is your role at MindOut?

I do some general admin and I help to run the Counselling service. I often deliver training and other events, and I recently ran MindOut’s first ever group themed around Relationships.

Can you tell us about the Relationships group?

We called it ‘Better Communication in Intimate Relationships’. As a trained therapist, I understand how important open communication is in maintaining a healthy relationship. Unfortunately, many of us struggle with communication. We may have been hurt in the past, and feel reluctant to open up. Or we may just not know how to listen effectively to our partners!

The group was a pilot project, which ran for 8 weeks at the start of this year. We brought in a strong element of skills training – equipping group members with skills and knowledge to support them in their own relationships. This was really well received by the group, and I know that they gained a lot from it.

Sounds great! Will you be running it again?

We think the group was a great success, so subject to funding we’re keen to offer it again. Coronavirus puts a dampener on things at the moment, but watch this space for news about it later in the year.

What other work does MindOut do around relationships?

Following a successful pilot last year, MindOut now offers time-limited low-cost LGBTQ relationships counselling – sometimes called ‘couples counselling’. This is a really important provision, because we know that many LGBTQ people cannot afford the full-cost couples’ counselling that’s available privately.

I’ve also hosted a themed Online Support session around LGBTQ Relationships. If there’s demand for it, we may offer this themed session again. But in any case, folk who want to discuss relationship issues can access our general support sessions, for a 1-to-1 webchat with our trained workers. The service is particularly important at the moment, with ‘lockdown’ preventing much face-to-face support.

You can access Online Support through any internet-connected device. Just go to our website www.mindout.org.uk to see our opening hours, join a session or even leave a message for us if we’re offline.