BRAVE: Emotional Support for those affected by Domestic Abuse

An opportunity for primary care service users, the BRAVE project is all about Building Resilience and Valuing Emotions

BRAVE logo

What is BRAVE and who is it for?

At BRAVE, we provide therapeutic support for people all across East Berkshire who have experienced domestic abuse and who also experience emotional difficulties following this abuse. If you receive support from your GP, this service might be available for you.

We work with individuals who are open to primary care, to help prevent the need to access secondary mental health services. If you are currently working with Slough Care Pathways, then please speak to your team about available support options. To get an idea of the support BRAVE offers, please visit the BRAVE YouTube channel by clicking here.

Through our group-based programme, we work with individuals to support them to learn new skills and ways of coping to help them break free from their past. BRAVE also works with partnership organisations, such as Hestia, to help develop a better understanding of mental health difficulties across the entire East Berkshire area. East Berkshire covers Slough, Bracknell, Windsor, Ascot, and Maidenhead.

The BRAVE journey starts with an initial assessment that helps us understand your current situation, the difficulties you are experiencing, and how we can best support you to overcome them.

After your assessment, you may be invited to join a small group programme for twelve weeks: the BRAVE group. If the BRAVE group is not the right support for you, then we will be able to discuss alternative support options that may be helpful.

During group sessions, you’ll learn about alternative ways to cope with life’s difficulties, engage in group problem-solving, and get support from your peers. Previous members have found the groups safe, empowering, and confidence building. These groups are single sex, the membership stays the same for all 12 weeks, and you won’t be asked to share anything you’re not comfortable with.

Beyond the group programme, BRAVE offers individual review sessions to help you think about moving forward and celebrate the progress you’ve made so far. From the initial assessment to flourishing in the wider East Berkshire community, BRAVE supports you at every point along the way.

Primary Service UsersSecondary Service UsersCarersMental Health ProfessionalsFamily and friends

What we do at BRAVE

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Emotional Health & Wellbeing

Group members have told us that the group has helped them to feel more empowered and confident, and has helped them learn coping skills for anxiety and other emotions.

two women sat at a desk talking

Feelings of Safety

People have also told us they feel more confident about listening to themselves and trusting themselves – this helps them to feel safer and manage relationships.

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Coping with Everyday Life

After attending the BRAVE programme, individuals have reported feeling more confident to manage challenging situations and focus on achieving important goals, whilst also looking after their own wellbeing.

What People Love About BRAVE

Content

Identifying and learning to cope with difficult emotions, covering many topics and practical skills

Camaraderie

Meeting and learning from others in the group; having a shared understanding

Safe Space

Having a closed group creates a non-judgemental and supportive environment where members feel able to open up

Good Facilitators

The facilitators are approachable, trustworthy, understanding, friendly, and non-judgemental

Debriefing

This creates a space to raise any issues, and validate feelings through discussions with others

Impact on Life

Learning to feel better about oneself, putting skills learnt into practice

We liaise with partner agencies to obtain referrals

We can also signpost to other sources of support

Referral to the BRAVE project

If you are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse and you would benefit from some support for how you are feeling, then please ask your support service to refer you. We accept referrals from a wide range of services across the East Berkshire area, including:

  • Hestia
  • Berkshire Women’s Aid (BWA)
  • The Dash (Domestic Abuse Stops Here) Charity
  • Slough Children’s Services Trust
  • The Freedom Programme

Ask your support worker, social worker, or mental health professional to make a referral or contact the BRAVE project on 01753 690950 to discuss whether the service could be helpful for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you live in the East Berkshire region, BRAVE operates in your area. East Berkshire includes:

  • Slough
  • Bracknell
  • Windsor
  • Ascot
  • Maidenhead

If you live outside these areas please don’t worry: other support is available for you. Please see the FAQs below for more information.

Sometimes it can be hard to know whether you are experiencing domestic abuse. If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, please speak to your healthcare professional for further information and advice.

Domestic abuse can have a severe impact on mental health and people can find it difficult to access the support they need, but support is available for men and women who have experienced domestic abuse.

Even if you are not eligible for support from BRAVE, there is still help available for you. Please see the following question for more details.

If you don’t meet the criteria for our service, please don’t worry. There is still help available for you out there and you are not alone! The following agencies may be able to help:

  • Hestia provides support for those experiencing domestic abuse, modern slavery and mental health needs. In Slough, you can contact them on 01753 477352 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm), or visit www.hestia.org/slough

 

  • The National Domestic Abuse Helpline provides nationwide support for women affected by domestic abuse. They are available 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247 or at www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk

 

  • The Men’s Advice Line offers support specifically for men affected by domestic abuse. You can contact them on 0808 801 0327 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm and until 8pm Mon and Wed), or visit www.mensadviceline.org.uk

 

  • For advice for male and female perpetrators of domestic abuse looking to stop, or for victims and friends/family looking for information or help for a perpetrator, or frontline workers working with perpetrators, you can contact the Respect Phoneline on 0808 8024040 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm), or learn more at www.respectphoneline.org.uk

Absolutely! The BRAVE programme has recently created a special YouTube channel which contains a variety of mindfulness and meditation practices that you may find useful. To access the channel, please click this link.