looking to create a safe and private peer support community on groups.io

Hi everyone,

Have been meeting so many new people on twitter struggling with various mental illness. I love meeting so many people going through similar things and have always found the power of peer support so incredible. Sometimes I think it’s as important if not more than professional support. Professional support is very important particularly with severe mental illness but often our friends who get it are the ones to help us navigate the complex maze of finding that support, trying to understand our therapists and psychiatrists and knowing how to advocate for ourselves. As the recent mental health recovery movement has officially stated how important peer support is providing paid employment to those who have lived experience of mental illness to act as role models and firsthand mentors in trying to find some stability in the ups and downs of mental illness.

Often twitter is limited particularly with the crazy character thing. You really can’t type that much out. I’m trying to find people with blogs to follow and connect that way. I have noticed since starting a peer support group for those who are blind and have mental illness the power of having a safe closed private group where we all get to know each other and really become friends and interact day to day.

I as the owner decide who joins the group the guidelines and if someone is not following them they would leave right away to preserve the integrity of the group. I’ve found facebook groups and forums overwhelming so when I saw in 2012 yahoo groups I chose this as my medium.

Yahoo groups aren’t existent anymore or at least not that I know of. The latest platform that I love is groups.io.

See link below.

https://groups.io/

So aqnyone can create a group it’s very easy to do. As with yahoo groups you can opt to have messages go to your in box, to get each message, only certain messages in a thread or a daily digest.

Or you can be put on no mail so you wouldn’t get any e-mail at all and could do the whole thing from the site itself where it would function like a forum in posting reading and replying in a forum format displaying threads and such.

For those not sure about giving out their e-mail you could create an alternate e-mail for the purposes of the group and if you strictly use the site people wouldn’t be seeing your address if you didn’t give it to them.

I have never had issues with this format in terms of privacy, the list can’t be searched by google and the like, viruses, or unwelcome members. If something does happen to threaten the safety and stability of the group I and my friend who moderates with me address it right away.

Creating this forum has been the best thing I ever did. I’m reminded constantly of that by my friends on the blindness and mental illness list. I’ve made friends I never could have made otherwise and these are people that will stay in my life hopefully forever. Once bonds really start to form we’ve used skype or phone chat to further develop friendship and support. As we get to know each other too we can help one another by being able to contact a friend in the hospital, do research on a local therapist or other housing support and be there as much as any online friend can be. It’s also cool when you find out some members are in your local area which we have on that list as well.

I’d like to create a group for anyone who has a mental illness completely open to all diversity that’s out there. I only want to do it if there’s interest. In writing this post I hope to explain as clearly as possible how groups.io works. The safety of the site and the importance of peer support in a safe small private forum. I hope others are interested and I’d love to get to know you all off twitter so we can really be a close knit group. Please comment or e-mail me: nelsonsam68

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