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Connectedness & peer support (videos & new groups)

Think about a time when you were really struggling with a challenge in your life. Remember the relief you got when you connected with an empathetic listener or got support from a peer who had had a similar experience?

Here's Brene Brown talking about the value of Empathy (4 min. video shared by Dr. Mara Gottlieb at the "Talking Changes" event in Wilton):

Our February blog post is focused on social supports. We share some statistics, short videos, and info on how to become a certified peer support specialist. We also highlight the newest support groups in the region. Please feel free to share these resources with others! The Hub's regional priorities report for 2019 found that life satisfaction decreased over the past 3 years among adults in Southwest CT. Meanwhile, mental illness is increasing dramatically among young people both locally and nationwide, and only about half of people in need get professional help, as shown in our infograph (full report here):

Non-clinical support is critical to helping fill the treatment gap!

  • Learn about the SMART Recovery(R) groups in Southwest CT here. There are new SMART groups for teens and young adults starting this month in Greenwich and Stamford and existing groups in Norwalk (teens), Bridgeport (teens, family & friends, and Spanish language), and Westport (family & friends).

  • Spread the world: Hearing Voices Network (HVN) support is back! A new group will meet Tuesdays from 6-7:30pm at the HSC Building in Norwalk and there is also an online/phone meeting every week. Email Skye for info.

  • Learn about peer support: Recovery Support Specialists and Recovery Coaches; different types of support groups, particularly alternatives to the 12 step model that most people are familiar with;

  • Find local support groups for individuals and families from our regularly updated list or by searching the Southwest CT regional calendar.

If you work with youth or have kids at home, The Search Institute has a variety of informative videos on the Power of Relationships in the Lives of Youth, including a discussion of barriers in schools and youth-serving environments and tips for parents. Here's a short 4 minute video:

Social connectedness has been shown to have an impact on our mental health, helping address anxiety and depression. It also has a positive impact on our physical health, increasing longevity and boosting immune response. And as Johann Hari says in his famous TED talk below, "the opposite of addiction is not sobriety... it's connection":

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