Two new virtual support groups from Piscataquis NAMI
Although many are looking to resume in-person social interaction at this time in the pandemic, many others are glad to be able to interact with others virtually. The threat of the virus may influence their decision or the lack of transportation, distance from support or service or inclement weather may play a part. No matter the reason, NAMI virtual remote support groups are available to anyone in need throughout the state of Maine if you have an internet connection.
To better serve the diverse population of those with mental health challenges and their families, NAMI Piscataquis County now offers two new virtual support groups in addition to the Multigenerational Connections group already offered remotely.
NAMI Young Adult Recovery Connections Support Group for individuals 16-24 struggling with mental health issues will convene via Zoom on the first Wednesday of each month from 6:30-8 p.m. This group grew out of the depression, anxiety and loneliness that many teens and those in their early 20s experience as a result of COVID-19. The future, as a result of the pandemic, is very uncertain. NAMI Maine reports that 27 percent of high school students report feeling sad or helpless for at least two weeks in the past year and that one in 10 Maine high school students have attempted suicide in the past year. Mental health challenges can lead to substance abuse and suicide ideation. The chance for young people to talk through their challenges with their peers may help to turn around these undesired outcomes.
Additionally, a small portion of young people experience bipolar disorder, trauma effects, schizophrenia, eating disorders and other anxiety disorders that may or may not have been diagnosed as yet. These young people may benefit from this targeted support group by sharing their feelings and experiences to help themselves and, in turn, possibly help others in similar situations. This group provides an opportunity for young people to connect with peers who understand or are willing to understand in a non-judgmental and confidential environment. Educational opportunities will be made available to participants through the NAMI Piscataquis County mental health education initiative.
This young adult connections group is the first of its kind offered in the state through NAMI Maine and NAMI Piscataquis County thanks to the innovation of a local young woman and her co-facilitator from Washington County. Young people anywhere in the state can access this support group via the internet by contacting YAdultSG@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link to attend and for more information.
The second new remote NAMI support group is the Friends & Family group for adults with family members or friends experiencing mental health challenges. It will meet on the second Tuesday of each month from 5:30-7 p.m. via Zoom. Those attending can share their stories and feelings, gather information from others in the group, learn self-care strategies, and access information about various mental health disorders and challenges. If you are a spouse, brother, sister, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, adult child, parent, grandparent or good friend of someone at any stage of illness, this group may meet your needs. For the Zoom link, contact email@example.com. Educational programming is a key component within the support group as well through the NAMI Piscataquis County educational initiative that occurs regularly outside of the support group via Zoom. Non-judgmental confidentiality is a feature of all NAMI support groups.
The ongoing Multigenerational Connections Support Group will continue to meet remotely via Zoom on the first Wednesday of each month from 1 -2:30 p.m. This group is for people experiencing mental health challenges. Those attending have a chance to tell their stories, express feelings, enjoy a supportive atmosphere, help others, learn self-help skills, enjoy a supportive atmosphere and gain personal strength. As with other NAMI support groups, there is access to relevant educational programs. To attend this support group, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link.
NAMI support groups are confidential and are never recorded. Zoom.us has increased its security since the early days of the pandemic so that breaches in security do not occur. Since beginning with remote group sessions and education in June, NAMI Piscataquis County has never had a security breach.