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Teen Skills & Support

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PROGRAM OVERVIEW

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.

VOLUNTEERS

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.

  • Amy Degollado (nurse)
  • Ashley Montondon (therapist)
  • Carmen Mota (support group moderator)
  • Clint Mallett (support group moderator)
  • Dianne Dusold (nurse)
  • Gerard Toussaint (neurosurgeon)
  • Hector Mota (student volunteer)
  • Jody Schulz (Executive Director NAMIBV)
  • Joshua Cabrera (psychiatrist)
  • Julie Hurley (support group moderator)
  • Kimberly Mallett (support group moderator)
  • Kreshna Gopal (program coordinator)
  • Krista Weller (nurse)
  • Letrice Dennis (therapist)
  • Neha Gopal (student volunteer)
  • Nicole Ford (support group moderator)
  • Tracye Sanders (President NAMIBV, support group moderator)

    GUIDELINES FOR SUPPORT GROUPS

    The teen support group meets every Thursday 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 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 teen@namibv.org or call us on 979-774-4713 or follow us on Instagram (username: namibv_teen).

    Introduction of participants

  • Name
  • Who is your relative? (for support group of relatives)
  • Diagnosis
  • For how long?
  • What is going on now

    Key principles

  • 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

    Needs

  • Support
  • Comfort
  • Empathy for confusion
  • Help finding resources
  • Crisis intervention
  • Prognosis
  • Empathy for pain
  • 2. Learning to cope

  • Anger, guilt, resentment
  • Recognition
  • Grief

    Needs

  • Vent feelings
  • Keep hope
  • Education
  • Self-care
  • Networking
  • Skill training
  • Letting go
  • Co-op from system

    3. Moving into Advocacy

  • Understanding
  • Acceptance
  • Advocacy, action

    Needs

  • Activism
  • Restoring balance in life
  • Responsiveness from system
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