NAMI Family Support Group
6:45 – 8:15 pm. the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month.
Open to all adults 18 and older who have a family member or friend living with mental illness.
Group is for sharing, understanding, encouragement, friendship and hope. All participants are at different points on the recovery spectrum. Brainstorming, sharing difficulties as well as successes, helps many gain insight from others. Groups are confidential–you can share as much or as little personal information as you wish. The group should add to but not replace your current recovery plan. Contact: email@example.com or Ovie Hughie at 678-341-9414
NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group
6:45 – 8:15 pm 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month. You are welcome to join at any time.
Open to all adults 18 and older living with mental illness who are stable and well enough to participate in a recovery group. This group will meet across the hall from the family group, so each group will maintain its own privacy and confidentiality. Mental illness causes many to become isolated. Talking with someone to share coping strategies and insights, as well as problems and concerns, can be an important link in the path to recovery. Many group members can say: “I’ve been there; I understand. This is what worked for me in that situation.” The group should add to and not replace any treatment plan determined by you and your mental health provider and does not recommend or endorse any medications or medical therapies. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Mari Forquer at 470-208-8837
Vet to Vet Support and Education Group
A new Vet to Vet Group is forming in Cumming. For information or to sign up contact: Joe LaBranche 404-862-2141 email@example.com.
Vet to Vet is a self-help program of veterans helping veterans overcome both mental illness and substance abuse started by Moe Armstrong, NAMI National Board member and Veterans subcommittee chair.
“There will be no miracles. There will be no cures. We will have to work every day in our lives to keep sane, stable, safe and sober. We can keep our sanity, stability, safety and sobriety through mutual self-help support meetings and attending our mental health programs.” Moe Armstrong
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PEER SUPPORT GROUPS AND THERAPY GROUPS
A support group setting is one where members can do just that – offer support and show understanding and empathy because of shared experiences. Since everyone in the group is a peer, there is no expert. There is no right or wrong. Each individual should be able to say what s/he feels and/or thinks and be accepted by the group.
Besides being able to vent in a support group, there is the opportunity to see that one’s emotions are the same as others’, not abnormal or shameful. Emotions just are. This can be liberating.
Support sessions also provide an ideal setting for problem solving. Other people’s perspectives, resourcefulness and creativity are invaluable aides when a group member is feeling stuck and needs concrete practical suggestions.
Finally, a support group is a social event. People should come away feeling they have met with old and new friends and had a pleasant experience. If a support group does nothing else, it should have provided an opportunity for connection, creating time to counteract the isolation in which many peers live.
PEER SUPPORT GROUP
- To offer support through showing understanding and empathy
- To share insights about similarities of experiences
- To solve problems by using the combined wisdom of group members
- To celebrate good times and ‘be there” during bad ones
- To interpret behavior in the group to provide insight
- To analyze relationships within the group to facilitate interpersonal change
- To provide professional analysis of interactions and responses
REMEMBER: WE DO NOT DO THERAPY IN SUPPORT GROUPS!
NAMI programs should not be used to replace the specialized training and professional judgment of mental health professionals. We cannot, and do not, assume the role of a physician or therapist.
Self-care information, and family and peer support are valuable assets in working through the many challenges faced by individuals and families who have been touched by serious mental illness. They are complimentary to, but not substitutes for, professional assistance.
NAMI cannot be held responsible for the use of the information we provide. Please always consult a trained mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment of yourself or others.