A funeral. A conference of death. Sixteen sit at a rectangle of tables placed side by side, and look into the rectangle’s centre as if it were an open coffin. And though sixteen human beings sir cramped together, each remains alone. There exists a general air that ‘I cannot be helped’. After all, some here have been surviving life, quite literally, for forty or more years, and have lost all faith in the medical profession.
Tattoos. Embroidered jumpers. Red lips, black lips, mascara. Occasional smiles met with nervous gazes. The group members sit within themselves, silent, as the course leader introduces herself as Brenda. Folders to contain the worksheets for the next twenty weeks of group therapy are passed around by two other psychiatric nurses as Brenda introduces STEPPS.