Teen Skills & Support
The Teen Skills & Support program was initiated in summer 2018. The program aims to provide education and support to meet the needs of teenagers suffering from mental illnesses. The activities of the program include support groups, training, fundraising, etc. Currently, we hold weekly support groups for teenagers between 14 and 18. Parallel support group sessions are held for the parents and relatives of the teenagers (same time and venue, different rooms).
The network of volunteers for the Teen Skills & Support program includes support group moderators, student volunteers, and professionals in the medical field (doctors, nurses, therapists) that can advise us and connect us with teenagers who may need support.
GUIDELINES FOR SUPPORT GROUPS
The teen support group meets every Tuesday from 6:30-8:00 pm at NAMI Brazos Valley at 3705 South College Avenue, Bryan, TX 77801. It is meant for the 14-18 age group (please contact us for exceptions). There is a parallel support group for parents and relatives of the teenagers at the same time. There are two moderators for each support group. The support group aims at providing a confidential and conducive environment where the teenagers can share their experiences and to know that they are not alone. The support groups are not designed for diagnosis, counseling, and treatment.
For more information, email us at email@example.com or call us on 979-774-4713 or follow us on Instagram (username: namibv_teen).
Introduction of participants
- Who is your relative? (for support group of relatives)
- For how long?
- What is going on now
- Start and stop on time
- Time limit for opening stories
- Absolute confidentiality
- Be respectful
- Let’s keep it in the here and now
- Empathize with each other’s situation
Principles of support
- We see the individual first, not the illness.
- We recognize that mental illnesses are brain disorders.
- We aim for better coping skills.
- We find strength in sharing experiences.
- We reject stigma in ourselves and others.
- We won’t judge anyone’s pain as less than our own.
- We forgive ourselves and reject guilt.
- We embrace humor as healthy.
- We accept that we cannot resolve all problems.
- We expect a better future in a realistic way.
- We will never give up hope!<
Three stages of emotional responses
1. Dealing with catastrophic events
- Crisis, chaos, shock
- Denial, normalizing
- Hoping against hope
- Empathy for confusion
- Help finding resources
- Crisis intervention
- Empathy for pain
2. Learning to cope
- Anger, guilt, resentment
- Vent feelings
- Keep hope
- Skill training
- Letting go
- Co-op from system
3. Moving into Advocacy
- Advocacy, action
- Restoring balance in life
- Responsiveness from system
Article on the The Eagle (September 6, 2018)