Visiting can be a wonderful and positive experience for all involved. However, it is important to remember that you will be coming into direct contact with some of the most visceral oppressions imparted by the state, and engaging directly with people who may be in very difficult situations. SDS takes supporting visiting members, as well as people in detention, very seriously.
Visitors often play a supporting role to the person they are visiting. This in turn can mean that visitors need some support too.
Sources of support for visitors:
> New visitors are matched with a mentor/buddy, who can chat to you before and debrief with you after your visits.
> Peer support sessions are once a month. We encourage visitors to attend even if you don’t feel you need it: peer support sessions are a space where we can offer support to one another, and it might be that you have had experiences that could help others who are struggling.
> Co-ordinators will check in with you regularly while you are visiting. Please respond to emails and ask for help where you need it.
> Professional group and individual counselling opportunities are sometimes available.
> In addition, lots of useful guides and self-help resources are stored on our shared drive. This includes tips on how to deal with the kinds of issues that can come up during visiting. Email co-ordinators if you don’t know how to access this.