Hoping you’re all having a good Saturday. I don’t have very much time to write now, but thought I’d post something quick.
Since the beginning of the summer I’ve been going to a local young adult resource center. It’s for all young adults ages 18 to 25, and in particular for anyone with a mental health concern. It’s totally free, funded through the department of mental health, we even get free dinners and lots of snacks! Drop in hours are in the early afternoons tolater evening, (closing around 7 most days,) and they’re open four days a week, and hoping to be open all week soon. We have an amazingly dedicated center coordinator, who’s made it her mission to put this community resource in place. We also have recently gotten a peer specialist, someone who has been a part of building the center to where it is today. A peer specialist, is someone who has lived experience of a mental health concern, and feels solid enough in their own recovery to be a role model and provide hope and support for others on their journey.
Things are pritty relaxed at the center. During drop in hours people hang out on the computer or in the living room. Dinners are usually well attended and the food is good. I’ve found the connections I’ve made in particular with the peer specialist and center coordinator to be so valuable.
There are different workshops and groups held at the center each week. Some are more well attended than others. My favorite group is peer support on Wednesday afternoons. The peer specialist leads it. She provides a safe space where everyone has a chance to be heard and seek support. Often this group isn’t very well attended which can be frustrating. But there was a recent group I went to that was so moving. We had about 8 people, some of which were new to the center. Everyone was open with one another, and very supportive. The peer specialist did an excellent job of afacilitating, and I felt everyone came away feeling more connected and with hope.
The thing I like most about the peer specialist is that when I haven’t been to the center in a couple weeks she’ll call to check on me. I guess she does this with everyone, because she cares and wants to make sure everything’s ok with us. She called me on monday as I was hanging out on my first day in the dorm. I told her how the end of my summer had gone, and that I was busy this week but would hopefully come in next week or the week after. She said if I didn’t she’d be sure to call me. After hanging up I felt so happy knowing that she cared enough to take time out of her day to call, and that I’d always have her support, and the support of the center.
I’d encourage anyone who has a local center like this to take advantage of the resource. It’s a safe nonjudgmental place to connect with others going through similar struggles and to get support. It’s also just a lot of fun.