Shared as a press release on June 20, 2023.
[BARRE, VERMONT]— The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont (NAMI Vermont) is forming a new Connection Recovery Support Group in collaboration with the People’s Health & Wellness Clinic (PHWC) in Barre, Vermont. Connection Recovery is a peer support program intended for individuals living with mental health challenges. The new peer support group will meet every Thursday from 6–7:30 p.m. and will use a hybrid model, giving participants the option to join in-person at the PHWC Conference Room or to join virtually using Zoom. Information about the Zoom login is available at namivt.org/csg.
Group meetings follow a structured, peer-led model. Trained facilitators who have their own lived experience with mental illness lead the meetings based on the NAMI model, which is utilized for support groups nationwide. The structured yet flexible format allows all participants the opportunity to be heard and receive support. In May 2023, NAMI Vermont held a two-day, in-person training for individuals who wanted to become a Connection Support Group facilitator. One of the newly trained facilitators will lead the meetings at the PHWC with the help of a previously trained cofacilitator. Individuals interested in becoming a facilitator may contact NAMI Vermont’s Program Coordinator, Emily Young, at [email protected].
“People’s Health & Wellness Clinic is proud to open our doors at 51 Church Street in Barre to a wonderful community partner like NAMI Vermont,” said Daniel Barlow, the clinic’s Executive Director. “The peer recovery meetings that will be hosted here will have a huge positive impact on the wellbeing of our community.”
The People’s Health & Wellness Clinic is located at 51 Church Street in downtown Barre and offers free essential healthcare to adults who do not have adequate health insurance. The clinic has been operating since 1994 and offers primary and preventive medical care, oral healthcare, bodywork, mental healthcare, and enrollment assistance.
NAMI Vermont provides several different free programs and training opportunities, including educational presentations, shared stories from peers with lived experience, classes, and workshops. In addition to free peer support groups, the organization offers support groups for family members and close friends of individuals with mental health conditions. NAMI Vermont also maintains an active presence at the Vermont legislature to advocate for better mental health systems at the state level.
The partnership between NAMI Vermont and the PHWC will provide an opportunity for more Central Vermonters to get the support they need for their mental health and connect with others who can relate to their experience. Meetings are free and do not require any registration. For more information about this support group, email [email protected], call (802) 876-7949 x102, or visit namivt.org/csg. To learn more about the PHWC, visit phwcvt.org.