PeerGalaxy

Oregon's Peer Support Directory

PeerGalaxy Calendar

Welcome to PeerGalaxy Calendar featuring offerings of telephone + online peer support + wellness activities! 

WE ARE PEER FOR YOU!

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If you have an event to add, email us: webmail@peergalaxy.com

Training Opportunities in July 2020
List Provided Courtesy of State of Oregon, Oregon Health Authority
Click here to download PDF Format, 16 pages

How Events are Sorted:

First, at the top of the list: Disaster Hotline & Oregon Safe + Strong Helpline.

Next in the list: Bundled “All Day” Events for organizations with events happening at multiple times throughout the day and/or in many formats or locations; these are bundled into a single listing to prevent endless scrolling.  Usually these offer a lookup by zip code or other criteria. 

Lastly, Time-Specific Events listed by start time from 12:01am early morning to 11:59pm late night.  Warmlines and places east of Oregon’s time zone tend to start earlier (e.g. 4am in Oregon is 7am in New York).

Jan
23
Sun
01 – Chatline – Text HELP to 741741 to Connect with a Crisis Counselor for Crisis / Depression – Anytime 24/7/365 – Weekdays and Weekends @ Text Messaging
Jan 23 all-day

CHATLINE

FREE Text Messaging to Connect with a Crisis Counselor for Depression / Crisis, etc.

Anytime 24/7/365 Weekdays and Weekends

Text HELP to 741741  

An alternative way to connect is through Facebook Messenger at this link: https://www.messenger.com/t/204427966369963/?messaging_source=source%3Apages%3Amessage_shortlink

You aren’t alone – support is out there! 

How you feel NOW may not last Forever.

Connecting with someone who cares and listens can make a difference and can help us get through our most difficult moments.

Whether it’s friends, family, or community – Everyone needs Somebody to lean on!

NOTE: Wait time can vary.  Usually a response comes pretty quickly in under 5 minutes.  Sometimes the wait can be 5 to 15 minutes or longer if there is a disaster or other reason.

 

Who are the Crisis Counselors? They are trained volunteers who—with the support of full-time Crisis Text Line staff—use active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning to help texters in their moment of crisis.

Crisis doesn’t just mean suicide; it’s any painful emotion for which you need support. 

This service is for short term needs and is not a substitute for a friend or professional therapist.

For more information, check out the Frequently Asked Questions at this link: https://www.crisistextline.org/about-us/faq/ 

crisis text line banner

01 – Mental Health Resources for the the Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Crisis Lines, Support Groups, Mental Health Services – Online
Jan 23 all-day

 

“when the world comes crashing at
your feet
it’s okay to let others
help pick up the pieces
if we’re present to take part in your
happiness
when your circumstances are great
we are more than capable
of sharing your pain”

― Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers

As we emerge from the winter season, our exposure to limited sunlight and longer periods of darkness may affect our mental and emotional well-being.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, which can bring with it additional anxiety, depression and other stress about romance and relationships. Research shows that deaf people are more likely to struggle socially, emotionally and with other issues impacting mental health.

Tips for Self-Care

“Recovery is not so much a dream as it is a plan.” – Carolyn Spring

In “Actually, I am Not Okay! Mental Health in the Deaf Community,” Deaf Unity offers some self-care strategies:

  • Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. You are not alone. It is so important that you do not struggle in silence.
  • Eat well. Deaf nutritionist Jeanann Doyle explains that good nutrition is tied to positive mental health.
  • Enjoy time with friends. Research has shown that early or pervasive lack of communication access with family members and others in the deaf person’s environment are mental health risk factors. Spending quality time with companions may reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  • Be kind to yourself. Negative attitudes from deaf and hearing individuals can be a barrier to healthy social and emotional development. Take part in positive experiences with and about deaf people, which break down negative stereotypes and increases awareness.

Find a Qualified Professional

The number of accessible mental health providers and services has been increasing along with awareness of the diverse communication and identities of deaf individuals.

Technology allows for remote counseling with deaf-sensitive professionals. The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center offers national and statewide directories for mental health services for deaf people.

NDC’s Mental Health Services tip sheet offers several considerations for providing effective counseling services:

  • Direct and effortless communication between the deaf person and practitioner.
  • Practitioner’s cultural competency (i.e. understanding of deaf experiences in a hearing world, communication preferences and deaf culture).
  • Effective and appropriate means of mental health assessments.
  • The importance of accurate and qualified interpretation between ASL and English in mental health settings.

Additional Resources

The National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD) offers several resources and strategies to locate crisis services, community resources and deaf-accessible hotlines:

  • Crisis Line for VideoPhone users who use American Sign Language (available 24/7): 321-800-3323 (321-800-DEAF)
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: To chat online with a counselor (2pm-2am Monday-Friday Eastern Standard Time) TTY Hotline: 800-799-4889
  • Crisis text line: text START to 741-741 (free, available 24/7, sometimes have Deaf counselors available)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline:
    • E-mail: deafhelp@thehotline.org
    • TTY: 1-800-787-3224 (24/7 hotline)
    • VP: 1-855-812-1001 (Monday to Friday 9AM—5PM Pacific Standard Time

 

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Recovery Project

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Project is building a welcoming network for Deaf-to-Deaf peer support and training.  We also find hearing friends and allies in mental health programs and support for recovery from traumatic experience.

Who Are We?  on YouTube

Deaf individuals tell their recovery stories through 10-15 minute videos.  All 7 share about being diagnosed with a mental illness and their journey to satisfying, complex lives.  They are open about the dark days and their hope.  All presented in In their native language – American Sign Language with captions in English.  We present them here in the hope of educating and inspiring others and creating community.

My Story:  Marco

My Story: Marnie

My Story: Lori

My Story: Minh

My Story: Mary

My Story: Taimin

My Story: Val

What is Peer Support?

What is Peer Support and the Recovery Model and How that is Different than the Medical Model (PDF)

Presentation developed and presented by Marnie Forgere, Deaf and Hard of Hearing project coordinator

How to Communicate

Tip Sheet #1 “Communicating with Deaf and Hard of Hearing”

Tip Sheet #2 “How to use American Sign Language Interpreter”

Tip Sheet #3 “How to get a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Person’s Attention”

Tip Sheet #4 “Helpful tips about Language Use”

All 4 Tip Sheets

“How to be Deaf-friendly with or without Interpreters” Guide for Hearing

White Paper Released (PDF)

BEING SEEN !
Establishing Deaf to Deaf Peer Support Services and Training
Successes and Lessons Learned From the Massachusetts Experience  

 

Button Art by Rachel Klein & Diane Squires

Prepared by: Deborah Delman, Marnie Fougere, and Meighan Haupt
In collaboration with the Deaf Community Voice Team with The Transformation Center: Val Ennis, Marco Gonzalez, Lori Johnstone, Mary O’Shea, Taimin Rosado, Sharon Sacks, Minh Vo

With special appreciation to allies Justine Barros, Cathy Mylotte, Lucille Traina, Robert Walker and
Catherine Quinerly

Links and Resources

Minnesota Certified Peer Support Specialists program

MCDHH (MA Commission for tech Deaf and Hard of Hearing)

MCDHH Boston YouTube Channel

Deaf-Hope.org  Founded by Deaf women in California “Our mission at DeafHope is to end domestic and sexual violence in Deaf communities through empowerment, education and services.”

Deaf YES Center at UMass Medical School, Worcester, MA

Harvard Committee on Deaf Awareness (CODA)

“Intimate Partner Violence in the Deaf Community: 5 Things You Need to Know & 5 Things You Can Do” (written for mental health providers) PDF

“Signs of Safety: A Deaf Accessible Toolkit for Trauma and Addiction” PDFASL

911 Disability Indicator Program

12-Step online for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Sounds of Sobriety (SOS):  This online email group was formed to help us who have a hearing loss (deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing) to find a place to recover from alcoholism. For many of us, face-to-face AA meetings no longer work. All members of AA, or those who think they may have a problem with alcohol, are welcome.    SOS_online_group-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Deaf Grateful:  This is a real-time open discussion meeting on Saturday at 4 pm (EST) for deaf & HOH people who have a desire to stop drinking. Meeting uses videoconferencing software (easily downloaded) that requires a high speed internet connection and a webcam. Our communication mode is ASL only (no audio).
http://doda.omnijoin.com

PSI – Postpartum Support International – Maternal Depression Support Groups and Educational Resources – Online @ Regester for Details
Jan 23 all-day

Sponsor

 

Event Banner

 

Maternal Depression Support Groups and Educational  Resources

On-line

Peer Support Groups & More! Postpartum

Support International (PSI) Weekly Support Groups: PSI facilitates a wide variety of postpartum support groups every week for diverse populations, and all family members.

PSI also staffs a non-emergency helpline for education and support:  The number is 1-800-944-4773. PSI also offers a free peer mentor program where Mons or Dads can work 1-1 with a peer mentor once per week for up to 6 months.

Link to webpage for specific support groups, dates and times: 

https://www.postpartum.net/get-help/psi-online-support-meetings/

 

West Coast On-line Peer Support Forum:

Postpartum Progress Hosts Regional, On-line Forums for Maternal Depression and/or Anxiety:

These regional forums are moderated by volunteer Warrior Mom® Ambassadors who have completed Mental Health First Aid training.

Link to webpage to select a particular region, including West Coast (includes Oregon):

https://postpartumprogress.com/postpartum-progdress-online-peer-support

 

Oregon On-line Peer Support Groups: 

Free peer support groups and discussion forums, moderated by, “Well Mama,” for mothers and families on a wide variety of topics related to pregnancy and postpartum mental health.

Link to register:  https://www.wellmamaoregon.com/support/

 

 On-line Maternal Depression Education Resources:  

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): NIMH provides a comprehensive, downloadable educational manual about Postpartum (Perinatal) Depression. 

Link to the webpage to download this educational material: 

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/perinatal-depression/index.shtml

 

Oregon Health Authority (OHA):

OHA provides a wide variety of educational materials on pregnancy and postpartum depression for both mothers and family members.

Link to this information: 

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HealthyPeopleFamilies/Women/MaternalMentalHealth/Pages/index.aspx

VA – VisionAware – Support Groups and Other Resources For the Blind and Visually Impaired @ Online Event Register Online
Jan 23 all-day

 

 

support group sitting around table

Importance of Joining a Support Group

If you’ve been diagnosed with an eye condition, have a family member who has, or have become a caregiver, joining a support group may be the most important thing you’ll ever do. Whether online or in your local community, such groups offer the opportunity to talk to others; share common concerns, frustrations, and stories; and find solutions to your vision-related difficulties. For more information on support groups, you can read Support Groups and the Adjustment Process.

Check out Finding Support Groups for more information including links to directory listings of support groups.

Support Group Resources and Supportive Communities Meeting Virtually

  • The APH Directory of Services allows you to find local support groups as well as organizations that offer counseling and adjustment services, low vision services, mobility training, and vocational rehabilitation.
  • ILVSG TeleSupport – This support group is designed for older adults with low vision who may not have access to the internet or other in-person groups. It is a monthly meeting offered over the phone and there are no fees or obligations. It is designed for low vision seniors anywhere in the U.S. who have no access to the Internet or cannot attend a live support group. Learn more at: MD Support — TeleSupport or call toll-free at 1-888-866-6148 to get started!

 

  • The Friendship Line – The Institute on Aging established this toll-free line for older adults who may be depressed, lonely, disabled, or in crisis.  It is both a crisis “hotline” and a ‘warmline” for emotional support. Trained volunteers answer the calls and make calls. The Friendship Line provides round-the-clock crisis support services including: providing emotional support, elder abuse reporting, well-being checks, grief support through assistance and reassurance, active suicide intervention, information and referrals for isolated older adults, and adults living with disabilities. Volunteers will also call people on a regular basis to help monitor their  physical and mental health concerns. This service can improve the quality of life and connectedness of isolated callers. Reach out today and call 1-800-971-0016. To learn more, visit Senior Intervention Hotline for Crisis Support Services.

 

  • Social Call – This Covia program connects adults 60 and older to new friends on the phone or video calls. Volunteers are “matched” to participants with the goal of building friendships through weekly calls.  This free service is a great way to socialize and make connections when you can’t get out in your community. Go to: Social Call | Covia Corporate or call 1-877-797-7299 to get started. 

 

  • Covia Well Connected and Well Connected Espanol– This program, previously known as Senior Center without Walls, offers enrichment, community, fun, support and learning groups for older adults who may be homebound. All groups meet over the phone and/or on-line and are free. They offer support groups specifically for the visually impaired. It is a rich and supportive community and there is something for everyone! Visit their website to check out the catalog of offerings and learn how it all works. Call 1-877-797-7299 to register and get started.  

 

  • Mather Telephone Topics – Join Telephone Topics to learn about a variety of topics: wellness, music, sports, history. Participate in live discussions and enjoy live performances from home. All you do is call the phone number or log on to the Zoom meeting. Participation is FREE and open to everyone, anywhere! Learn more at: Aging Well Discussions and Programs | Telephone Topics (mather.com)  Then click on “Download Schedule” and choose an option that interests you. If you have questions about Telephone Topics, call 1-888-600-2560.

 

  • Eye2Eye is a free phone-based peer support program which offers emotional support, assessment, information, and referrals to people who are blind or visually impaired and their families. It helps people cope with the challenges of adjusting to vision loss, using trained peer support specialists who are also blind or visually impaired. They serve people in more than twenty states.
  • The American Council of the Blind (ACB) has a list of helpful resources for people with vision loss and their families. It also has a national directory of affiliates in each state. Seniors can find information through the ACB affiliate Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss.

 

 

 

 

  • Vision Exchange is an online resource for support group leaders who facilitate support groups for adults with vision loss. The purpose is to exchange ideas, information, and community resources to help adults with low vision be more independent

 

  • The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) was the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home. FCA now offers programs at national, state, and local levels to support and sustain caregivers, and has an online family support group.

 

 

Phone emotional peer support line for blind persons

Rutgers has launched the nation’s first peer support helpline for the legally blind and their families.

Eye2Eye – 833-932-3931 (83-EYE2EYE-1) – is staffed 24/7 by peer support specialists who are legally blind and understand the challenges callers face.

The program, which is funded by a grant from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, serves residents in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The helpline assists people with vision impairments and blindness to work through some of the practical and emotional challenges associated with losing vision. Services include peer support, clinical assessment and referrals to resources for help with mental health, employment and technology. The program also offers callers resilience training to promote wellness, strength and self-care.

Recent studies show that one-third of people with vision loss suffer from depression and anxiety. This risk has gone largely unaddressed in the medical community, which has focused more on the practical problems faced by the visually impaired, such as finding employment and navigating everyday tasks, said Steven Silverstein, a clinical psychologist and vision researcher who co-directs the program with Cherie Castellano, the National Peer Support Call Center program director at  Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.

The Eye2Eye peers all have different forms of visual impairments, and these began at different times during their lives. This allows for a ‘cultural connection’ between callers with a wide range of vision problems and life concerns, and our peer counselors.”

Steven Silverstein, clinical psychologist and vision researcher

VWF – Very Well Family – Pregnancy Loss Support Organizations
Jan 23 all-day

Pregnancy Loss Support Organizations

Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Ectopic Pregnancy Support Groups

If you have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, or ectopic pregnancy and need an extra source of support, or if you wish to do something to help further miscarriage awareness, there is help out there. A number of nonprofit organizations around the world aim to spread awareness of pregnancy and infant loss and offer support services. Some are regional in focus but others have a national and even international reach. The following is a list of some of the major pregnancy loss awareness organizations.

 

Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support

women in support group for pregnancy loss
Steve Debenport/E+/Getty Images

Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support was established in 1977 and has been active in numerous pregnancy loss advocacy and awareness activities including everything from promoting the rights of parents to bury their miscarried babies, to organizing support groups around the nation. The organization’s website contains a collection of support resources as well as a list of regional support groups. If no support group is in your area, Share can also advise you on how to start one

March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is one of the most well-known and well-established organizations focusing on pregnancy health. March of Dimes has a lot of information on the causes and possible prevention of premature birth, a leading cause of infant death, and it is involved in numerous advocacy efforts to drive research into ways to prevent birth defects and infant death.

As a start, every woman who is pregnant should be aware of the risk factors for premature birth as well as the signs and symptoms of premature labor.1

International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA)

The International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) is a coalition of stillbirth awareness groups and organizations that work to promote stillbirth research and awareness of stillbirth. The group offers support resources for parents as well as information about ongoing research into stillbirth.

The Miscarriage Association

The Miscarriage Association is a UK-based support association that offers many resources to help families cope with miscarriage and to spread awareness of miscarriage. They use the general term miscarriage but include support for those who have had an ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy as well. The group has a network of support volunteers who can lend a listening ear

The miscarriage association also provides information to help people better understand everything from the tests done to look for a miscarriage, to information on “trying again” after your loss.

Sands

Sands stands for Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support. This group is based in the UK, but Sands has chapters in countries around the world. The group offers support to all individuals affected by stillbirth or loss of a newborn infant, and its website includes information on local groups and advocacy opportunities.

Sands also recognizes the importance of bereavement care,2 which has, unfortunately, been addressed to a less degree than the symptoms and treatment of pregnancy loss.

The Compassionate Friends

The Compassionate Friends (TCF) is not exclusively focused on pregnancy loss but focuses on providing support for bereaved families who are grieving the death of a child. The group does offer information and support for pregnancy loss of any kind.

MISS Foundation

The MISS Foundation focuses on crisis support and other aid to families grieving the loss of a child. The group is not exclusively focused on pregnancy loss but is involved in a lot of activities related to miscarriage and stillbirth awareness, such as the MISSing Angels Bills that have been considered or passed in many U.S. states with the idea of granting parents the right to receive a state-issued certificate of stillbirth recognizing the loss of a baby to stillbirth.

Center for Loss in Multiple Birth (CLIMB)

The Center for Loss in Multiple Birth (CLIMB) offers support to parents who have lost babies in multiple pregnancies, including those who have lost all babies in the pregnancy as well as those who have lost one twin.

The site offers fact sheets aimed at dads, grandparents, siblings, and survivors as well as information about research into this type of pregnancy loss.

Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND)

Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND) is a California support group for late pregnancy loss and neonatal loss. Its website features fact sheets and information about local groups in northern California. The group also offers two in-person support groups as well as phone support for grieving parents.

Even if you are not a California native, the HAND website provides support, including letters addressed to parents, friends , and family, and even health care professionals who are facing the grief which accompanies stillbirth and neonatal death.

 

The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust

The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust is a group sponsored by London’s King College Hospital. The website has information on the causes and treatment of ectopic pregnancy, as well as support forums. The group supports research into early diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy and means of prevention.

The website (of course, easily accessible to those outside the UK) has abundant resources with information on a number of topics surrounding ectopic pregnancy. It even has information for dad’s and ectopic pregnancy, recognizing the difficulties faced by those who are “so close but yet so far.”3

Tommy’s

Tommy’s functions as something of a UK-based March of Dimes equivalent. The group has information on how to have a healthy pregnancy and prevent any preventable stillbirths or preterm births. The group also supports research on miscarriage prevention and causes.

ISE – Integrated Self of Eugene – Awareness Through Movement Class – Free – Sundays @ Online Via Zoom
Jan 23 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Logo

Awareness Through Movement Class – Free – Online – Sundays, 1:00 PM PST

This week I’m giving a lesson called A More Comfortable Neck so naturally this lesson will do most of the movements in the hips and shoulders. Whaaaaa you say?

The movement of the neck is supported in the torso. The neck muscles actually attach between the shoulder blades. The flexors of the abdomen play a huge roll in the support of our head. It takes a baby months to be able to hold its head up by itself and that is because it has to learn this kind of support first.

I became interested in the Feldenkrais Method® because my neck was killing me over ten years ago. I love any and all lessons neck.  You’ll love this one too.

Be sure to find a comfortable place on the floor and wear loose clothing.
If you can arrange it so I can see you, it is helpful but not required.
I’ll be online about 10 minutes early if you have any questions before we start.

Click Here to Join Class

Meeting ID: 834 9584 5561
Passcode: 222079
One tap mobile
+16699009128,,83495845561#,,,,,,0#,,222079# US (San Jose)
+12532158782,,83495845561#,,,,,,0#,,222079# US (Tacoma)

Dial by your location
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 834 9584 5561
Passcode: 222079
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbPKKLiHZk

 

Click here to visit my new website.

Click here for more information about my classes.  

Click here to see my latest blog post.

Click here for more information about my mini-course.

ROCC – Recovery Outreach Community Center Emotional Awareness Group with Mark – Tuesdays @ Online via Zoom
Jan 23 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

logo

EMOTIONAL AWARENESS WITH MARK

ONLINE – TUESDAYS 2–3PM PST

This is a mutual support group for all kinds of challenges, such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Focus is on tools & solutions.

Click link below to attend group. You will be asked to register on ZOOM. It’s free and fast!

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIofu-grj4tG90p8MxArdVQIJO86TWmgVmo

ZOOM Meeting ID:865 9680 5719

ROCC Website:

https://www.roccsalem.org

ROCC Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/ROCCSALEM/

ROCC Facebook Group for Chat:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/232944234571700/

Jan
24
Mon
01 – Chatline – Text HELP to 741741 to Connect with a Crisis Counselor for Crisis / Depression – Anytime 24/7/365 – Weekdays and Weekends @ Text Messaging
Jan 24 all-day

CHATLINE

FREE Text Messaging to Connect with a Crisis Counselor for Depression / Crisis, etc.

Anytime 24/7/365 Weekdays and Weekends

Text HELP to 741741  

An alternative way to connect is through Facebook Messenger at this link: https://www.messenger.com/t/204427966369963/?messaging_source=source%3Apages%3Amessage_shortlink

You aren’t alone – support is out there! 

How you feel NOW may not last Forever.

Connecting with someone who cares and listens can make a difference and can help us get through our most difficult moments.

Whether it’s friends, family, or community – Everyone needs Somebody to lean on!

NOTE: Wait time can vary.  Usually a response comes pretty quickly in under 5 minutes.  Sometimes the wait can be 5 to 15 minutes or longer if there is a disaster or other reason.

 

Who are the Crisis Counselors? They are trained volunteers who—with the support of full-time Crisis Text Line staff—use active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning to help texters in their moment of crisis.

Crisis doesn’t just mean suicide; it’s any painful emotion for which you need support. 

This service is for short term needs and is not a substitute for a friend or professional therapist.

For more information, check out the Frequently Asked Questions at this link: https://www.crisistextline.org/about-us/faq/ 

crisis text line banner

01 – Mental Health Resources for the the Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Crisis Lines, Support Groups, Mental Health Services – Online
Jan 24 all-day

 

“when the world comes crashing at
your feet
it’s okay to let others
help pick up the pieces
if we’re present to take part in your
happiness
when your circumstances are great
we are more than capable
of sharing your pain”

― Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers

As we emerge from the winter season, our exposure to limited sunlight and longer periods of darkness may affect our mental and emotional well-being.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, which can bring with it additional anxiety, depression and other stress about romance and relationships. Research shows that deaf people are more likely to struggle socially, emotionally and with other issues impacting mental health.

Tips for Self-Care

“Recovery is not so much a dream as it is a plan.” – Carolyn Spring

In “Actually, I am Not Okay! Mental Health in the Deaf Community,” Deaf Unity offers some self-care strategies:

  • Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. You are not alone. It is so important that you do not struggle in silence.
  • Eat well. Deaf nutritionist Jeanann Doyle explains that good nutrition is tied to positive mental health.
  • Enjoy time with friends. Research has shown that early or pervasive lack of communication access with family members and others in the deaf person’s environment are mental health risk factors. Spending quality time with companions may reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  • Be kind to yourself. Negative attitudes from deaf and hearing individuals can be a barrier to healthy social and emotional development. Take part in positive experiences with and about deaf people, which break down negative stereotypes and increases awareness.

Find a Qualified Professional

The number of accessible mental health providers and services has been increasing along with awareness of the diverse communication and identities of deaf individuals.

Technology allows for remote counseling with deaf-sensitive professionals. The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center offers national and statewide directories for mental health services for deaf people.

NDC’s Mental Health Services tip sheet offers several considerations for providing effective counseling services:

  • Direct and effortless communication between the deaf person and practitioner.
  • Practitioner’s cultural competency (i.e. understanding of deaf experiences in a hearing world, communication preferences and deaf culture).
  • Effective and appropriate means of mental health assessments.
  • The importance of accurate and qualified interpretation between ASL and English in mental health settings.

Additional Resources

The National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD) offers several resources and strategies to locate crisis services, community resources and deaf-accessible hotlines:

  • Crisis Line for VideoPhone users who use American Sign Language (available 24/7): 321-800-3323 (321-800-DEAF)
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: To chat online with a counselor (2pm-2am Monday-Friday Eastern Standard Time) TTY Hotline: 800-799-4889
  • Crisis text line: text START to 741-741 (free, available 24/7, sometimes have Deaf counselors available)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline:
    • E-mail: deafhelp@thehotline.org
    • TTY: 1-800-787-3224 (24/7 hotline)
    • VP: 1-855-812-1001 (Monday to Friday 9AM—5PM Pacific Standard Time

 

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Recovery Project

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Project is building a welcoming network for Deaf-to-Deaf peer support and training.  We also find hearing friends and allies in mental health programs and support for recovery from traumatic experience.

Who Are We?  on YouTube

Deaf individuals tell their recovery stories through 10-15 minute videos.  All 7 share about being diagnosed with a mental illness and their journey to satisfying, complex lives.  They are open about the dark days and their hope.  All presented in In their native language – American Sign Language with captions in English.  We present them here in the hope of educating and inspiring others and creating community.

My Story:  Marco

My Story: Marnie

My Story: Lori

My Story: Minh

My Story: Mary

My Story: Taimin

My Story: Val

What is Peer Support?

What is Peer Support and the Recovery Model and How that is Different than the Medical Model (PDF)

Presentation developed and presented by Marnie Forgere, Deaf and Hard of Hearing project coordinator

How to Communicate

Tip Sheet #1 “Communicating with Deaf and Hard of Hearing”

Tip Sheet #2 “How to use American Sign Language Interpreter”

Tip Sheet #3 “How to get a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Person’s Attention”

Tip Sheet #4 “Helpful tips about Language Use”

All 4 Tip Sheets

“How to be Deaf-friendly with or without Interpreters” Guide for Hearing

White Paper Released (PDF)

BEING SEEN !
Establishing Deaf to Deaf Peer Support Services and Training
Successes and Lessons Learned From the Massachusetts Experience  

 

Button Art by Rachel Klein & Diane Squires

Prepared by: Deborah Delman, Marnie Fougere, and Meighan Haupt
In collaboration with the Deaf Community Voice Team with The Transformation Center: Val Ennis, Marco Gonzalez, Lori Johnstone, Mary O’Shea, Taimin Rosado, Sharon Sacks, Minh Vo

With special appreciation to allies Justine Barros, Cathy Mylotte, Lucille Traina, Robert Walker and
Catherine Quinerly

Links and Resources

Minnesota Certified Peer Support Specialists program

MCDHH (MA Commission for tech Deaf and Hard of Hearing)

MCDHH Boston YouTube Channel

Deaf-Hope.org  Founded by Deaf women in California “Our mission at DeafHope is to end domestic and sexual violence in Deaf communities through empowerment, education and services.”

Deaf YES Center at UMass Medical School, Worcester, MA

Harvard Committee on Deaf Awareness (CODA)

“Intimate Partner Violence in the Deaf Community: 5 Things You Need to Know & 5 Things You Can Do” (written for mental health providers) PDF

“Signs of Safety: A Deaf Accessible Toolkit for Trauma and Addiction” PDFASL

911 Disability Indicator Program

12-Step online for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Sounds of Sobriety (SOS):  This online email group was formed to help us who have a hearing loss (deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing) to find a place to recover from alcoholism. For many of us, face-to-face AA meetings no longer work. All members of AA, or those who think they may have a problem with alcohol, are welcome.    SOS_online_group-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Deaf Grateful:  This is a real-time open discussion meeting on Saturday at 4 pm (EST) for deaf & HOH people who have a desire to stop drinking. Meeting uses videoconferencing software (easily downloaded) that requires a high speed internet connection and a webcam. Our communication mode is ASL only (no audio).
http://doda.omnijoin.com

PSI – Postpartum Support International – Maternal Depression Support Groups and Educational Resources – Online @ Regester for Details
Jan 24 all-day

Sponsor

 

Event Banner

 

Maternal Depression Support Groups and Educational  Resources

On-line

Peer Support Groups & More! Postpartum

Support International (PSI) Weekly Support Groups: PSI facilitates a wide variety of postpartum support groups every week for diverse populations, and all family members.

PSI also staffs a non-emergency helpline for education and support:  The number is 1-800-944-4773. PSI also offers a free peer mentor program where Mons or Dads can work 1-1 with a peer mentor once per week for up to 6 months.

Link to webpage for specific support groups, dates and times: 

https://www.postpartum.net/get-help/psi-online-support-meetings/

 

West Coast On-line Peer Support Forum:

Postpartum Progress Hosts Regional, On-line Forums for Maternal Depression and/or Anxiety:

These regional forums are moderated by volunteer Warrior Mom® Ambassadors who have completed Mental Health First Aid training.

Link to webpage to select a particular region, including West Coast (includes Oregon):

https://postpartumprogress.com/postpartum-progdress-online-peer-support

 

Oregon On-line Peer Support Groups: 

Free peer support groups and discussion forums, moderated by, “Well Mama,” for mothers and families on a wide variety of topics related to pregnancy and postpartum mental health.

Link to register:  https://www.wellmamaoregon.com/support/

 

 On-line Maternal Depression Education Resources:  

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): NIMH provides a comprehensive, downloadable educational manual about Postpartum (Perinatal) Depression. 

Link to the webpage to download this educational material: 

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/perinatal-depression/index.shtml

 

Oregon Health Authority (OHA):

OHA provides a wide variety of educational materials on pregnancy and postpartum depression for both mothers and family members.

Link to this information: 

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HealthyPeopleFamilies/Women/MaternalMentalHealth/Pages/index.aspx

VA – VisionAware – Support Groups and Other Resources For the Blind and Visually Impaired @ Online Event Register Online
Jan 24 all-day

 

 

support group sitting around table

Importance of Joining a Support Group

If you’ve been diagnosed with an eye condition, have a family member who has, or have become a caregiver, joining a support group may be the most important thing you’ll ever do. Whether online or in your local community, such groups offer the opportunity to talk to others; share common concerns, frustrations, and stories; and find solutions to your vision-related difficulties. For more information on support groups, you can read Support Groups and the Adjustment Process.

Check out Finding Support Groups for more information including links to directory listings of support groups.

Support Group Resources and Supportive Communities Meeting Virtually

  • The APH Directory of Services allows you to find local support groups as well as organizations that offer counseling and adjustment services, low vision services, mobility training, and vocational rehabilitation.
  • ILVSG TeleSupport – This support group is designed for older adults with low vision who may not have access to the internet or other in-person groups. It is a monthly meeting offered over the phone and there are no fees or obligations. It is designed for low vision seniors anywhere in the U.S. who have no access to the Internet or cannot attend a live support group. Learn more at: MD Support — TeleSupport or call toll-free at 1-888-866-6148 to get started!

 

  • The Friendship Line – The Institute on Aging established this toll-free line for older adults who may be depressed, lonely, disabled, or in crisis.  It is both a crisis “hotline” and a ‘warmline” for emotional support. Trained volunteers answer the calls and make calls. The Friendship Line provides round-the-clock crisis support services including: providing emotional support, elder abuse reporting, well-being checks, grief support through assistance and reassurance, active suicide intervention, information and referrals for isolated older adults, and adults living with disabilities. Volunteers will also call people on a regular basis to help monitor their  physical and mental health concerns. This service can improve the quality of life and connectedness of isolated callers. Reach out today and call 1-800-971-0016. To learn more, visit Senior Intervention Hotline for Crisis Support Services.

 

  • Social Call – This Covia program connects adults 60 and older to new friends on the phone or video calls. Volunteers are “matched” to participants with the goal of building friendships through weekly calls.  This free service is a great way to socialize and make connections when you can’t get out in your community. Go to: Social Call | Covia Corporate or call 1-877-797-7299 to get started. 

 

  • Covia Well Connected and Well Connected Espanol– This program, previously known as Senior Center without Walls, offers enrichment, community, fun, support and learning groups for older adults who may be homebound. All groups meet over the phone and/or on-line and are free. They offer support groups specifically for the visually impaired. It is a rich and supportive community and there is something for everyone! Visit their website to check out the catalog of offerings and learn how it all works. Call 1-877-797-7299 to register and get started.  

 

  • Mather Telephone Topics – Join Telephone Topics to learn about a variety of topics: wellness, music, sports, history. Participate in live discussions and enjoy live performances from home. All you do is call the phone number or log on to the Zoom meeting. Participation is FREE and open to everyone, anywhere! Learn more at: Aging Well Discussions and Programs | Telephone Topics (mather.com)  Then click on “Download Schedule” and choose an option that interests you. If you have questions about Telephone Topics, call 1-888-600-2560.

 

  • Eye2Eye is a free phone-based peer support program which offers emotional support, assessment, information, and referrals to people who are blind or visually impaired and their families. It helps people cope with the challenges of adjusting to vision loss, using trained peer support specialists who are also blind or visually impaired. They serve people in more than twenty states.
  • The American Council of the Blind (ACB) has a list of helpful resources for people with vision loss and their families. It also has a national directory of affiliates in each state. Seniors can find information through the ACB affiliate Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss.

 

 

 

 

  • Vision Exchange is an online resource for support group leaders who facilitate support groups for adults with vision loss. The purpose is to exchange ideas, information, and community resources to help adults with low vision be more independent

 

  • The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) was the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home. FCA now offers programs at national, state, and local levels to support and sustain caregivers, and has an online family support group.

 

 

Phone emotional peer support line for blind persons

Rutgers has launched the nation’s first peer support helpline for the legally blind and their families.

Eye2Eye – 833-932-3931 (83-EYE2EYE-1) – is staffed 24/7 by peer support specialists who are legally blind and understand the challenges callers face.

The program, which is funded by a grant from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, serves residents in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The helpline assists people with vision impairments and blindness to work through some of the practical and emotional challenges associated with losing vision. Services include peer support, clinical assessment and referrals to resources for help with mental health, employment and technology. The program also offers callers resilience training to promote wellness, strength and self-care.

Recent studies show that one-third of people with vision loss suffer from depression and anxiety. This risk has gone largely unaddressed in the medical community, which has focused more on the practical problems faced by the visually impaired, such as finding employment and navigating everyday tasks, said Steven Silverstein, a clinical psychologist and vision researcher who co-directs the program with Cherie Castellano, the National Peer Support Call Center program director at  Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.

The Eye2Eye peers all have different forms of visual impairments, and these began at different times during their lives. This allows for a ‘cultural connection’ between callers with a wide range of vision problems and life concerns, and our peer counselors.”

Steven Silverstein, clinical psychologist and vision researcher

VWF – Very Well Family – Pregnancy Loss Support Organizations
Jan 24 all-day

Pregnancy Loss Support Organizations

Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Ectopic Pregnancy Support Groups

If you have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, or ectopic pregnancy and need an extra source of support, or if you wish to do something to help further miscarriage awareness, there is help out there. A number of nonprofit organizations around the world aim to spread awareness of pregnancy and infant loss and offer support services. Some are regional in focus but others have a national and even international reach. The following is a list of some of the major pregnancy loss awareness organizations.

 

Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support

women in support group for pregnancy loss
Steve Debenport/E+/Getty Images

Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support was established in 1977 and has been active in numerous pregnancy loss advocacy and awareness activities including everything from promoting the rights of parents to bury their miscarried babies, to organizing support groups around the nation. The organization’s website contains a collection of support resources as well as a list of regional support groups. If no support group is in your area, Share can also advise you on how to start one

March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is one of the most well-known and well-established organizations focusing on pregnancy health. March of Dimes has a lot of information on the causes and possible prevention of premature birth, a leading cause of infant death, and it is involved in numerous advocacy efforts to drive research into ways to prevent birth defects and infant death.

As a start, every woman who is pregnant should be aware of the risk factors for premature birth as well as the signs and symptoms of premature labor.1

International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA)

The International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) is a coalition of stillbirth awareness groups and organizations that work to promote stillbirth research and awareness of stillbirth. The group offers support resources for parents as well as information about ongoing research into stillbirth.

The Miscarriage Association

The Miscarriage Association is a UK-based support association that offers many resources to help families cope with miscarriage and to spread awareness of miscarriage. They use the general term miscarriage but include support for those who have had an ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy as well. The group has a network of support volunteers who can lend a listening ear

The miscarriage association also provides information to help people better understand everything from the tests done to look for a miscarriage, to information on “trying again” after your loss.

Sands

Sands stands for Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support. This group is based in the UK, but Sands has chapters in countries around the world. The group offers support to all individuals affected by stillbirth or loss of a newborn infant, and its website includes information on local groups and advocacy opportunities.

Sands also recognizes the importance of bereavement care,2 which has, unfortunately, been addressed to a less degree than the symptoms and treatment of pregnancy loss.

The Compassionate Friends

The Compassionate Friends (TCF) is not exclusively focused on pregnancy loss but focuses on providing support for bereaved families who are grieving the death of a child. The group does offer information and support for pregnancy loss of any kind.

MISS Foundation

The MISS Foundation focuses on crisis support and other aid to families grieving the loss of a child. The group is not exclusively focused on pregnancy loss but is involved in a lot of activities related to miscarriage and stillbirth awareness, such as the MISSing Angels Bills that have been considered or passed in many U.S. states with the idea of granting parents the right to receive a state-issued certificate of stillbirth recognizing the loss of a baby to stillbirth.

Center for Loss in Multiple Birth (CLIMB)

The Center for Loss in Multiple Birth (CLIMB) offers support to parents who have lost babies in multiple pregnancies, including those who have lost all babies in the pregnancy as well as those who have lost one twin.

The site offers fact sheets aimed at dads, grandparents, siblings, and survivors as well as information about research into this type of pregnancy loss.

Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND)

Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND) is a California support group for late pregnancy loss and neonatal loss. Its website features fact sheets and information about local groups in northern California. The group also offers two in-person support groups as well as phone support for grieving parents.

Even if you are not a California native, the HAND website provides support, including letters addressed to parents, friends , and family, and even health care professionals who are facing the grief which accompanies stillbirth and neonatal death.

 

The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust

The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust is a group sponsored by London’s King College Hospital. The website has information on the causes and treatment of ectopic pregnancy, as well as support forums. The group supports research into early diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy and means of prevention.

The website (of course, easily accessible to those outside the UK) has abundant resources with information on a number of topics surrounding ectopic pregnancy. It even has information for dad’s and ectopic pregnancy, recognizing the difficulties faced by those who are “so close but yet so far.”3

Tommy’s

Tommy’s functions as something of a UK-based March of Dimes equivalent. The group has information on how to have a healthy pregnancy and prevent any preventable stillbirths or preterm births. The group also supports research on miscarriage prevention and causes.

FT – FolkTime – YANA – You Are Not Alone – Support Group for People Experienced Isolation Due to Depression, Anxiety, And/Or Agoraphobia – Mondays @ Online via Zoom
Jan 24 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

 

YANA – YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Support Group For People experiencing isolation due to depression, anxiety, and/or agoraphobia

Mondays, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PST

The purpose of this group is to connect with people who are experiencing, or have experienced, isolation due to depression, anxiety, agoraphobia, and/or COVID-19. The goal of this group is to provide a space where people can come together for support and engagement with others. Various tools for coping and recovery will be offered while discussions focus on personal experiences

ZOOM MEETING:Use the Link Below

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86267295991

Meeting ID: 862 6729 5991

CONTACTS

Website:  http://www.FolkTime.org/

Email: admin@folktime.org

Phone: (503) 238-6428

ROCC – Recovery Outreach Community Center Emotional Awareness Group with Mark – Tuesdays @ Online via Zoom
Jan 24 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

logo

EMOTIONAL AWARENESS WITH MARK

ONLINE – TUESDAYS 2–3PM PST

This is a mutual support group for all kinds of challenges, such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Focus is on tools & solutions.

Click link below to attend group. You will be asked to register on ZOOM. It’s free and fast!

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIofu-grj4tG90p8MxArdVQIJO86TWmgVmo

ZOOM Meeting ID:865 9680 5719

ROCC Website:

https://www.roccsalem.org

ROCC Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/ROCCSALEM/

ROCC Facebook Group for Chat:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/232944234571700/

DDAO – Dual Diagnosis Anonymous of Oregon – Alternatives to Suicide – 2nd and 4th Mondays @ Online via Zoom
Jan 24 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

ALTERNATIVES TO SUICIDE

2nd & 4th Mondays at 6 PM PT on Zoom.
Alternatives to Suicide: A mutual support space for mental health workers who have a personal relationship with suicide. 2nd & 4th Mondays at 6 PM PT/7 PM MT/8PM CT/9 PM ET on Zoom. Email mhworkeralt2su@gmail.com for details.
This group is a non-coercive space for mental health workers who have a personal relationship with suicide. Confidentiality, cognitive liberty, and mutuality are important guiding principles. No cops, No 911.
Email mhworkeralt2su@gmail.com for details.
Jan
25
Tue
01 – Chatline – Text HELP to 741741 to Connect with a Crisis Counselor for Crisis / Depression – Anytime 24/7/365 – Weekdays and Weekends @ Text Messaging
Jan 25 all-day

CHATLINE

FREE Text Messaging to Connect with a Crisis Counselor for Depression / Crisis, etc.

Anytime 24/7/365 Weekdays and Weekends

Text HELP to 741741  

An alternative way to connect is through Facebook Messenger at this link: https://www.messenger.com/t/204427966369963/?messaging_source=source%3Apages%3Amessage_shortlink

You aren’t alone – support is out there! 

How you feel NOW may not last Forever.

Connecting with someone who cares and listens can make a difference and can help us get through our most difficult moments.

Whether it’s friends, family, or community – Everyone needs Somebody to lean on!

NOTE: Wait time can vary.  Usually a response comes pretty quickly in under 5 minutes.  Sometimes the wait can be 5 to 15 minutes or longer if there is a disaster or other reason.

 

Who are the Crisis Counselors? They are trained volunteers who—with the support of full-time Crisis Text Line staff—use active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning to help texters in their moment of crisis.

Crisis doesn’t just mean suicide; it’s any painful emotion for which you need support. 

This service is for short term needs and is not a substitute for a friend or professional therapist.

For more information, check out the Frequently Asked Questions at this link: https://www.crisistextline.org/about-us/faq/ 

crisis text line banner

01 – Mental Health Resources for the the Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Crisis Lines, Support Groups, Mental Health Services – Online
Jan 25 all-day

 

“when the world comes crashing at
your feet
it’s okay to let others
help pick up the pieces
if we’re present to take part in your
happiness
when your circumstances are great
we are more than capable
of sharing your pain”

― Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers

As we emerge from the winter season, our exposure to limited sunlight and longer periods of darkness may affect our mental and emotional well-being.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, which can bring with it additional anxiety, depression and other stress about romance and relationships. Research shows that deaf people are more likely to struggle socially, emotionally and with other issues impacting mental health.

Tips for Self-Care

“Recovery is not so much a dream as it is a plan.” – Carolyn Spring

In “Actually, I am Not Okay! Mental Health in the Deaf Community,” Deaf Unity offers some self-care strategies:

  • Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. You are not alone. It is so important that you do not struggle in silence.
  • Eat well. Deaf nutritionist Jeanann Doyle explains that good nutrition is tied to positive mental health.
  • Enjoy time with friends. Research has shown that early or pervasive lack of communication access with family members and others in the deaf person’s environment are mental health risk factors. Spending quality time with companions may reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  • Be kind to yourself. Negative attitudes from deaf and hearing individuals can be a barrier to healthy social and emotional development. Take part in positive experiences with and about deaf people, which break down negative stereotypes and increases awareness.

Find a Qualified Professional

The number of accessible mental health providers and services has been increasing along with awareness of the diverse communication and identities of deaf individuals.

Technology allows for remote counseling with deaf-sensitive professionals. The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center offers national and statewide directories for mental health services for deaf people.

NDC’s Mental Health Services tip sheet offers several considerations for providing effective counseling services:

  • Direct and effortless communication between the deaf person and practitioner.
  • Practitioner’s cultural competency (i.e. understanding of deaf experiences in a hearing world, communication preferences and deaf culture).
  • Effective and appropriate means of mental health assessments.
  • The importance of accurate and qualified interpretation between ASL and English in mental health settings.

Additional Resources

The National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD) offers several resources and strategies to locate crisis services, community resources and deaf-accessible hotlines:

  • Crisis Line for VideoPhone users who use American Sign Language (available 24/7): 321-800-3323 (321-800-DEAF)
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: To chat online with a counselor (2pm-2am Monday-Friday Eastern Standard Time) TTY Hotline: 800-799-4889
  • Crisis text line: text START to 741-741 (free, available 24/7, sometimes have Deaf counselors available)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline:
    • E-mail: deafhelp@thehotline.org
    • TTY: 1-800-787-3224 (24/7 hotline)
    • VP: 1-855-812-1001 (Monday to Friday 9AM—5PM Pacific Standard Time

 

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Recovery Project

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Project is building a welcoming network for Deaf-to-Deaf peer support and training.  We also find hearing friends and allies in mental health programs and support for recovery from traumatic experience.

Who Are We?  on YouTube

Deaf individuals tell their recovery stories through 10-15 minute videos.  All 7 share about being diagnosed with a mental illness and their journey to satisfying, complex lives.  They are open about the dark days and their hope.  All presented in In their native language – American Sign Language with captions in English.  We present them here in the hope of educating and inspiring others and creating community.

My Story:  Marco

My Story: Marnie

My Story: Lori

My Story: Minh

My Story: Mary

My Story: Taimin

My Story: Val

What is Peer Support?

What is Peer Support and the Recovery Model and How that is Different than the Medical Model (PDF)

Presentation developed and presented by Marnie Forgere, Deaf and Hard of Hearing project coordinator

How to Communicate

Tip Sheet #1 “Communicating with Deaf and Hard of Hearing”

Tip Sheet #2 “How to use American Sign Language Interpreter”

Tip Sheet #3 “How to get a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Person’s Attention”

Tip Sheet #4 “Helpful tips about Language Use”

All 4 Tip Sheets

“How to be Deaf-friendly with or without Interpreters” Guide for Hearing

White Paper Released (PDF)

BEING SEEN !
Establishing Deaf to Deaf Peer Support Services and Training
Successes and Lessons Learned From the Massachusetts Experience  

 

Button Art by Rachel Klein & Diane Squires

Prepared by: Deborah Delman, Marnie Fougere, and Meighan Haupt
In collaboration with the Deaf Community Voice Team with The Transformation Center: Val Ennis, Marco Gonzalez, Lori Johnstone, Mary O’Shea, Taimin Rosado, Sharon Sacks, Minh Vo

With special appreciation to allies Justine Barros, Cathy Mylotte, Lucille Traina, Robert Walker and
Catherine Quinerly

Links and Resources

Minnesota Certified Peer Support Specialists program

MCDHH (MA Commission for tech Deaf and Hard of Hearing)

MCDHH Boston YouTube Channel

Deaf-Hope.org  Founded by Deaf women in California “Our mission at DeafHope is to end domestic and sexual violence in Deaf communities through empowerment, education and services.”

Deaf YES Center at UMass Medical School, Worcester, MA

Harvard Committee on Deaf Awareness (CODA)

“Intimate Partner Violence in the Deaf Community: 5 Things You Need to Know & 5 Things You Can Do” (written for mental health providers) PDF

“Signs of Safety: A Deaf Accessible Toolkit for Trauma and Addiction” PDFASL

911 Disability Indicator Program

12-Step online for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Sounds of Sobriety (SOS):  This online email group was formed to help us who have a hearing loss (deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing) to find a place to recover from alcoholism. For many of us, face-to-face AA meetings no longer work. All members of AA, or those who think they may have a problem with alcohol, are welcome.    SOS_online_group-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Deaf Grateful:  This is a real-time open discussion meeting on Saturday at 4 pm (EST) for deaf & HOH people who have a desire to stop drinking. Meeting uses videoconferencing software (easily downloaded) that requires a high speed internet connection and a webcam. Our communication mode is ASL only (no audio).
http://doda.omnijoin.com

PSI – Postpartum Support International – Maternal Depression Support Groups and Educational Resources – Online @ Regester for Details
Jan 25 all-day

Sponsor

 

Event Banner

 

Maternal Depression Support Groups and Educational  Resources

On-line

Peer Support Groups & More! Postpartum

Support International (PSI) Weekly Support Groups: PSI facilitates a wide variety of postpartum support groups every week for diverse populations, and all family members.

PSI also staffs a non-emergency helpline for education and support:  The number is 1-800-944-4773. PSI also offers a free peer mentor program where Mons or Dads can work 1-1 with a peer mentor once per week for up to 6 months.

Link to webpage for specific support groups, dates and times: 

https://www.postpartum.net/get-help/psi-online-support-meetings/

 

West Coast On-line Peer Support Forum:

Postpartum Progress Hosts Regional, On-line Forums for Maternal Depression and/or Anxiety:

These regional forums are moderated by volunteer Warrior Mom® Ambassadors who have completed Mental Health First Aid training.

Link to webpage to select a particular region, including West Coast (includes Oregon):

https://postpartumprogress.com/postpartum-progdress-online-peer-support

 

Oregon On-line Peer Support Groups: 

Free peer support groups and discussion forums, moderated by, “Well Mama,” for mothers and families on a wide variety of topics related to pregnancy and postpartum mental health.

Link to register:  https://www.wellmamaoregon.com/support/

 

 On-line Maternal Depression Education Resources:  

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): NIMH provides a comprehensive, downloadable educational manual about Postpartum (Perinatal) Depression. 

Link to the webpage to download this educational material: 

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/perinatal-depression/index.shtml

 

Oregon Health Authority (OHA):

OHA provides a wide variety of educational materials on pregnancy and postpartum depression for both mothers and family members.

Link to this information: 

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HealthyPeopleFamilies/Women/MaternalMentalHealth/Pages/index.aspx

VA – VisionAware – Support Groups and Other Resources For the Blind and Visually Impaired @ Online Event Register Online
Jan 25 all-day

 

 

support group sitting around table

Importance of Joining a Support Group

If you’ve been diagnosed with an eye condition, have a family member who has, or have become a caregiver, joining a support group may be the most important thing you’ll ever do. Whether online or in your local community, such groups offer the opportunity to talk to others; share common concerns, frustrations, and stories; and find solutions to your vision-related difficulties. For more information on support groups, you can read Support Groups and the Adjustment Process.

Check out Finding Support Groups for more information including links to directory listings of support groups.

Support Group Resources and Supportive Communities Meeting Virtually

  • The APH Directory of Services allows you to find local support groups as well as organizations that offer counseling and adjustment services, low vision services, mobility training, and vocational rehabilitation.
  • ILVSG TeleSupport – This support group is designed for older adults with low vision who may not have access to the internet or other in-person groups. It is a monthly meeting offered over the phone and there are no fees or obligations. It is designed for low vision seniors anywhere in the U.S. who have no access to the Internet or cannot attend a live support group. Learn more at: MD Support — TeleSupport or call toll-free at 1-888-866-6148 to get started!

 

  • The Friendship Line – The Institute on Aging established this toll-free line for older adults who may be depressed, lonely, disabled, or in crisis.  It is both a crisis “hotline” and a ‘warmline” for emotional support. Trained volunteers answer the calls and make calls. The Friendship Line provides round-the-clock crisis support services including: providing emotional support, elder abuse reporting, well-being checks, grief support through assistance and reassurance, active suicide intervention, information and referrals for isolated older adults, and adults living with disabilities. Volunteers will also call people on a regular basis to help monitor their  physical and mental health concerns. This service can improve the quality of life and connectedness of isolated callers. Reach out today and call 1-800-971-0016. To learn more, visit Senior Intervention Hotline for Crisis Support Services.

 

  • Social Call – This Covia program connects adults 60 and older to new friends on the phone or video calls. Volunteers are “matched” to participants with the goal of building friendships through weekly calls.  This free service is a great way to socialize and make connections when you can’t get out in your community. Go to: Social Call | Covia Corporate or call 1-877-797-7299 to get started. 

 

  • Covia Well Connected and Well Connected Espanol– This program, previously known as Senior Center without Walls, offers enrichment, community, fun, support and learning groups for older adults who may be homebound. All groups meet over the phone and/or on-line and are free. They offer support groups specifically for the visually impaired. It is a rich and supportive community and there is something for everyone! Visit their website to check out the catalog of offerings and learn how it all works. Call 1-877-797-7299 to register and get started.  

 

  • Mather Telephone Topics – Join Telephone Topics to learn about a variety of topics: wellness, music, sports, history. Participate in live discussions and enjoy live performances from home. All you do is call the phone number or log on to the Zoom meeting. Participation is FREE and open to everyone, anywhere! Learn more at: Aging Well Discussions and Programs | Telephone Topics (mather.com)  Then click on “Download Schedule” and choose an option that interests you. If you have questions about Telephone Topics, call 1-888-600-2560.

 

  • Eye2Eye is a free phone-based peer support program which offers emotional support, assessment, information, and referrals to people who are blind or visually impaired and their families. It helps people cope with the challenges of adjusting to vision loss, using trained peer support specialists who are also blind or visually impaired. They serve people in more than twenty states.
  • The American Council of the Blind (ACB) has a list of helpful resources for people with vision loss and their families. It also has a national directory of affiliates in each state. Seniors can find information through the ACB affiliate Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss.

 

 

 

 

  • Vision Exchange is an online resource for support group leaders who facilitate support groups for adults with vision loss. The purpose is to exchange ideas, information, and community resources to help adults with low vision be more independent

 

  • The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) was the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home. FCA now offers programs at national, state, and local levels to support and sustain caregivers, and has an online family support group.

 

 

Phone emotional peer support line for blind persons

Rutgers has launched the nation’s first peer support helpline for the legally blind and their families.

Eye2Eye – 833-932-3931 (83-EYE2EYE-1) – is staffed 24/7 by peer support specialists who are legally blind and understand the challenges callers face.

The program, which is funded by a grant from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, serves residents in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The helpline assists people with vision impairments and blindness to work through some of the practical and emotional challenges associated with losing vision. Services include peer support, clinical assessment and referrals to resources for help with mental health, employment and technology. The program also offers callers resilience training to promote wellness, strength and self-care.

Recent studies show that one-third of people with vision loss suffer from depression and anxiety. This risk has gone largely unaddressed in the medical community, which has focused more on the practical problems faced by the visually impaired, such as finding employment and navigating everyday tasks, said Steven Silverstein, a clinical psychologist and vision researcher who co-directs the program with Cherie Castellano, the National Peer Support Call Center program director at  Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.

The Eye2Eye peers all have different forms of visual impairments, and these began at different times during their lives. This allows for a ‘cultural connection’ between callers with a wide range of vision problems and life concerns, and our peer counselors.”

Steven Silverstein, clinical psychologist and vision researcher

VWF – Very Well Family – Pregnancy Loss Support Organizations
Jan 25 all-day

Pregnancy Loss Support Organizations

Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Ectopic Pregnancy Support Groups

If you have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, or ectopic pregnancy and need an extra source of support, or if you wish to do something to help further miscarriage awareness, there is help out there. A number of nonprofit organizations around the world aim to spread awareness of pregnancy and infant loss and offer support services. Some are regional in focus but others have a national and even international reach. The following is a list of some of the major pregnancy loss awareness organizations.

 

Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support

women in support group for pregnancy loss
Steve Debenport/E+/Getty Images

Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support was established in 1977 and has been active in numerous pregnancy loss advocacy and awareness activities including everything from promoting the rights of parents to bury their miscarried babies, to organizing support groups around the nation. The organization’s website contains a collection of support resources as well as a list of regional support groups. If no support group is in your area, Share can also advise you on how to start one

March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is one of the most well-known and well-established organizations focusing on pregnancy health. March of Dimes has a lot of information on the causes and possible prevention of premature birth, a leading cause of infant death, and it is involved in numerous advocacy efforts to drive research into ways to prevent birth defects and infant death.

As a start, every woman who is pregnant should be aware of the risk factors for premature birth as well as the signs and symptoms of premature labor.1

International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA)

The International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) is a coalition of stillbirth awareness groups and organizations that work to promote stillbirth research and awareness of stillbirth. The group offers support resources for parents as well as information about ongoing research into stillbirth.

The Miscarriage Association

The Miscarriage Association is a UK-based support association that offers many resources to help families cope with miscarriage and to spread awareness of miscarriage. They use the general term miscarriage but include support for those who have had an ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy as well. The group has a network of support volunteers who can lend a listening ear

The miscarriage association also provides information to help people better understand everything from the tests done to look for a miscarriage, to information on “trying again” after your loss.

Sands

Sands stands for Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support. This group is based in the UK, but Sands has chapters in countries around the world. The group offers support to all individuals affected by stillbirth or loss of a newborn infant, and its website includes information on local groups and advocacy opportunities.

Sands also recognizes the importance of bereavement care,2 which has, unfortunately, been addressed to a less degree than the symptoms and treatment of pregnancy loss.

The Compassionate Friends

The Compassionate Friends (TCF) is not exclusively focused on pregnancy loss but focuses on providing support for bereaved families who are grieving the death of a child. The group does offer information and support for pregnancy loss of any kind.

MISS Foundation

The MISS Foundation focuses on crisis support and other aid to families grieving the loss of a child. The group is not exclusively focused on pregnancy loss but is involved in a lot of activities related to miscarriage and stillbirth awareness, such as the MISSing Angels Bills that have been considered or passed in many U.S. states with the idea of granting parents the right to receive a state-issued certificate of stillbirth recognizing the loss of a baby to stillbirth.

Center for Loss in Multiple Birth (CLIMB)

The Center for Loss in Multiple Birth (CLIMB) offers support to parents who have lost babies in multiple pregnancies, including those who have lost all babies in the pregnancy as well as those who have lost one twin.

The site offers fact sheets aimed at dads, grandparents, siblings, and survivors as well as information about research into this type of pregnancy loss.

Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND)

Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND) is a California support group for late pregnancy loss and neonatal loss. Its website features fact sheets and information about local groups in northern California. The group also offers two in-person support groups as well as phone support for grieving parents.

Even if you are not a California native, the HAND website provides support, including letters addressed to parents, friends , and family, and even health care professionals who are facing the grief which accompanies stillbirth and neonatal death.

 

The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust

The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust is a group sponsored by London’s King College Hospital. The website has information on the causes and treatment of ectopic pregnancy, as well as support forums. The group supports research into early diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy and means of prevention.

The website (of course, easily accessible to those outside the UK) has abundant resources with information on a number of topics surrounding ectopic pregnancy. It even has information for dad’s and ectopic pregnancy, recognizing the difficulties faced by those who are “so close but yet so far.”3

Tommy’s

Tommy’s functions as something of a UK-based March of Dimes equivalent. The group has information on how to have a healthy pregnancy and prevent any preventable stillbirths or preterm births. The group also supports research on miscarriage prevention and causes.

ROCC – Recovery Outreach Community Center Emotional Awareness Group with Mark – Tuesdays @ Online via Zoom
Jan 25 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

logo

EMOTIONAL AWARENESS WITH MARK

ONLINE – TUESDAYS 2–3PM PST

This is a mutual support group for all kinds of challenges, such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Focus is on tools & solutions.

Click link below to attend group. You will be asked to register on ZOOM. It’s free and fast!

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIofu-grj4tG90p8MxArdVQIJO86TWmgVmo

ZOOM Meeting ID:865 9680 5719

ROCC Website:

https://www.roccsalem.org

ROCC Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/ROCCSALEM/

ROCC Facebook Group for Chat:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/232944234571700/

Jan
26
Wed
01 – Chatline – Text HELP to 741741 to Connect with a Crisis Counselor for Crisis / Depression – Anytime 24/7/365 – Weekdays and Weekends @ Text Messaging
Jan 26 all-day

CHATLINE

FREE Text Messaging to Connect with a Crisis Counselor for Depression / Crisis, etc.

Anytime 24/7/365 Weekdays and Weekends

Text HELP to 741741  

An alternative way to connect is through Facebook Messenger at this link: https://www.messenger.com/t/204427966369963/?messaging_source=source%3Apages%3Amessage_shortlink

You aren’t alone – support is out there! 

How you feel NOW may not last Forever.

Connecting with someone who cares and listens can make a difference and can help us get through our most difficult moments.

Whether it’s friends, family, or community – Everyone needs Somebody to lean on!

NOTE: Wait time can vary.  Usually a response comes pretty quickly in under 5 minutes.  Sometimes the wait can be 5 to 15 minutes or longer if there is a disaster or other reason.

 

Who are the Crisis Counselors? They are trained volunteers who—with the support of full-time Crisis Text Line staff—use active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning to help texters in their moment of crisis.

Crisis doesn’t just mean suicide; it’s any painful emotion for which you need support. 

This service is for short term needs and is not a substitute for a friend or professional therapist.

For more information, check out the Frequently Asked Questions at this link: https://www.crisistextline.org/about-us/faq/ 

crisis text line banner

01 – Mental Health Resources for the the Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Crisis Lines, Support Groups, Mental Health Services – Online
Jan 26 all-day

 

“when the world comes crashing at
your feet
it’s okay to let others
help pick up the pieces
if we’re present to take part in your
happiness
when your circumstances are great
we are more than capable
of sharing your pain”

― Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers

As we emerge from the winter season, our exposure to limited sunlight and longer periods of darkness may affect our mental and emotional well-being.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, which can bring with it additional anxiety, depression and other stress about romance and relationships. Research shows that deaf people are more likely to struggle socially, emotionally and with other issues impacting mental health.

Tips for Self-Care

“Recovery is not so much a dream as it is a plan.” – Carolyn Spring

In “Actually, I am Not Okay! Mental Health in the Deaf Community,” Deaf Unity offers some self-care strategies:

  • Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. You are not alone. It is so important that you do not struggle in silence.
  • Eat well. Deaf nutritionist Jeanann Doyle explains that good nutrition is tied to positive mental health.
  • Enjoy time with friends. Research has shown that early or pervasive lack of communication access with family members and others in the deaf person’s environment are mental health risk factors. Spending quality time with companions may reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  • Be kind to yourself. Negative attitudes from deaf and hearing individuals can be a barrier to healthy social and emotional development. Take part in positive experiences with and about deaf people, which break down negative stereotypes and increases awareness.

Find a Qualified Professional

The number of accessible mental health providers and services has been increasing along with awareness of the diverse communication and identities of deaf individuals.

Technology allows for remote counseling with deaf-sensitive professionals. The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center offers national and statewide directories for mental health services for deaf people.

NDC’s Mental Health Services tip sheet offers several considerations for providing effective counseling services:

  • Direct and effortless communication between the deaf person and practitioner.
  • Practitioner’s cultural competency (i.e. understanding of deaf experiences in a hearing world, communication preferences and deaf culture).
  • Effective and appropriate means of mental health assessments.
  • The importance of accurate and qualified interpretation between ASL and English in mental health settings.

Additional Resources

The National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD) offers several resources and strategies to locate crisis services, community resources and deaf-accessible hotlines:

  • Crisis Line for VideoPhone users who use American Sign Language (available 24/7): 321-800-3323 (321-800-DEAF)
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: To chat online with a counselor (2pm-2am Monday-Friday Eastern Standard Time) TTY Hotline: 800-799-4889
  • Crisis text line: text START to 741-741 (free, available 24/7, sometimes have Deaf counselors available)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline:
    • E-mail: deafhelp@thehotline.org
    • TTY: 1-800-787-3224 (24/7 hotline)
    • VP: 1-855-812-1001 (Monday to Friday 9AM—5PM Pacific Standard Time

 

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Recovery Project

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Project is building a welcoming network for Deaf-to-Deaf peer support and training.  We also find hearing friends and allies in mental health programs and support for recovery from traumatic experience.

Who Are We?  on YouTube

Deaf individuals tell their recovery stories through 10-15 minute videos.  All 7 share about being diagnosed with a mental illness and their journey to satisfying, complex lives.  They are open about the dark days and their hope.  All presented in In their native language – American Sign Language with captions in English.  We present them here in the hope of educating and inspiring others and creating community.

My Story:  Marco

My Story: Marnie

My Story: Lori

My Story: Minh

My Story: Mary

My Story: Taimin

My Story: Val

What is Peer Support?

What is Peer Support and the Recovery Model and How that is Different than the Medical Model (PDF)

Presentation developed and presented by Marnie Forgere, Deaf and Hard of Hearing project coordinator

How to Communicate

Tip Sheet #1 “Communicating with Deaf and Hard of Hearing”

Tip Sheet #2 “How to use American Sign Language Interpreter”

Tip Sheet #3 “How to get a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Person’s Attention”

Tip Sheet #4 “Helpful tips about Language Use”

All 4 Tip Sheets

“How to be Deaf-friendly with or without Interpreters” Guide for Hearing

White Paper Released (PDF)

BEING SEEN !
Establishing Deaf to Deaf Peer Support Services and Training
Successes and Lessons Learned From the Massachusetts Experience  

 

Button Art by Rachel Klein & Diane Squires

Prepared by: Deborah Delman, Marnie Fougere, and Meighan Haupt
In collaboration with the Deaf Community Voice Team with The Transformation Center: Val Ennis, Marco Gonzalez, Lori Johnstone, Mary O’Shea, Taimin Rosado, Sharon Sacks, Minh Vo

With special appreciation to allies Justine Barros, Cathy Mylotte, Lucille Traina, Robert Walker and
Catherine Quinerly

Links and Resources

Minnesota Certified Peer Support Specialists program

MCDHH (MA Commission for tech Deaf and Hard of Hearing)

MCDHH Boston YouTube Channel

Deaf-Hope.org  Founded by Deaf women in California “Our mission at DeafHope is to end domestic and sexual violence in Deaf communities through empowerment, education and services.”

Deaf YES Center at UMass Medical School, Worcester, MA

Harvard Committee on Deaf Awareness (CODA)

“Intimate Partner Violence in the Deaf Community: 5 Things You Need to Know & 5 Things You Can Do” (written for mental health providers) PDF

“Signs of Safety: A Deaf Accessible Toolkit for Trauma and Addiction” PDFASL

911 Disability Indicator Program

12-Step online for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Sounds of Sobriety (SOS):  This online email group was formed to help us who have a hearing loss (deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing) to find a place to recover from alcoholism. For many of us, face-to-face AA meetings no longer work. All members of AA, or those who think they may have a problem with alcohol, are welcome.    SOS_online_group-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Deaf Grateful:  This is a real-time open discussion meeting on Saturday at 4 pm (EST) for deaf & HOH people who have a desire to stop drinking. Meeting uses videoconferencing software (easily downloaded) that requires a high speed internet connection and a webcam. Our communication mode is ASL only (no audio).
http://doda.omnijoin.com

PSI – Postpartum Support International – Maternal Depression Support Groups and Educational Resources – Online @ Regester for Details
Jan 26 all-day

Sponsor

 

Event Banner

 

Maternal Depression Support Groups and Educational  Resources

On-line

Peer Support Groups & More! Postpartum

Support International (PSI) Weekly Support Groups: PSI facilitates a wide variety of postpartum support groups every week for diverse populations, and all family members.

PSI also staffs a non-emergency helpline for education and support:  The number is 1-800-944-4773. PSI also offers a free peer mentor program where Mons or Dads can work 1-1 with a peer mentor once per week for up to 6 months.

Link to webpage for specific support groups, dates and times: 

https://www.postpartum.net/get-help/psi-online-support-meetings/

 

West Coast On-line Peer Support Forum:

Postpartum Progress Hosts Regional, On-line Forums for Maternal Depression and/or Anxiety:

These regional forums are moderated by volunteer Warrior Mom® Ambassadors who have completed Mental Health First Aid training.

Link to webpage to select a particular region, including West Coast (includes Oregon):

https://postpartumprogress.com/postpartum-progdress-online-peer-support

 

Oregon On-line Peer Support Groups: 

Free peer support groups and discussion forums, moderated by, “Well Mama,” for mothers and families on a wide variety of topics related to pregnancy and postpartum mental health.

Link to register:  https://www.wellmamaoregon.com/support/

 

 On-line Maternal Depression Education Resources:  

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): NIMH provides a comprehensive, downloadable educational manual about Postpartum (Perinatal) Depression. 

Link to the webpage to download this educational material: 

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/perinatal-depression/index.shtml

 

Oregon Health Authority (OHA):

OHA provides a wide variety of educational materials on pregnancy and postpartum depression for both mothers and family members.

Link to this information: 

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HealthyPeopleFamilies/Women/MaternalMentalHealth/Pages/index.aspx

VA – VisionAware – Support Groups and Other Resources For the Blind and Visually Impaired @ Online Event Register Online
Jan 26 all-day

 

 

support group sitting around table

Importance of Joining a Support Group

If you’ve been diagnosed with an eye condition, have a family member who has, or have become a caregiver, joining a support group may be the most important thing you’ll ever do. Whether online or in your local community, such groups offer the opportunity to talk to others; share common concerns, frustrations, and stories; and find solutions to your vision-related difficulties. For more information on support groups, you can read Support Groups and the Adjustment Process.

Check out Finding Support Groups for more information including links to directory listings of support groups.

Support Group Resources and Supportive Communities Meeting Virtually

  • The APH Directory of Services allows you to find local support groups as well as organizations that offer counseling and adjustment services, low vision services, mobility training, and vocational rehabilitation.
  • ILVSG TeleSupport – This support group is designed for older adults with low vision who may not have access to the internet or other in-person groups. It is a monthly meeting offered over the phone and there are no fees or obligations. It is designed for low vision seniors anywhere in the U.S. who have no access to the Internet or cannot attend a live support group. Learn more at: MD Support — TeleSupport or call toll-free at 1-888-866-6148 to get started!

 

  • The Friendship Line – The Institute on Aging established this toll-free line for older adults who may be depressed, lonely, disabled, or in crisis.  It is both a crisis “hotline” and a ‘warmline” for emotional support. Trained volunteers answer the calls and make calls. The Friendship Line provides round-the-clock crisis support services including: providing emotional support, elder abuse reporting, well-being checks, grief support through assistance and reassurance, active suicide intervention, information and referrals for isolated older adults, and adults living with disabilities. Volunteers will also call people on a regular basis to help monitor their  physical and mental health concerns. This service can improve the quality of life and connectedness of isolated callers. Reach out today and call 1-800-971-0016. To learn more, visit Senior Intervention Hotline for Crisis Support Services.

 

  • Social Call – This Covia program connects adults 60 and older to new friends on the phone or video calls. Volunteers are “matched” to participants with the goal of building friendships through weekly calls.  This free service is a great way to socialize and make connections when you can’t get out in your community. Go to: Social Call | Covia Corporate or call 1-877-797-7299 to get started. 

 

  • Covia Well Connected and Well Connected Espanol– This program, previously known as Senior Center without Walls, offers enrichment, community, fun, support and learning groups for older adults who may be homebound. All groups meet over the phone and/or on-line and are free. They offer support groups specifically for the visually impaired. It is a rich and supportive community and there is something for everyone! Visit their website to check out the catalog of offerings and learn how it all works. Call 1-877-797-7299 to register and get started.  

 

  • Mather Telephone Topics – Join Telephone Topics to learn about a variety of topics: wellness, music, sports, history. Participate in live discussions and enjoy live performances from home. All you do is call the phone number or log on to the Zoom meeting. Participation is FREE and open to everyone, anywhere! Learn more at: Aging Well Discussions and Programs | Telephone Topics (mather.com)  Then click on “Download Schedule” and choose an option that interests you. If you have questions about Telephone Topics, call 1-888-600-2560.

 

  • Eye2Eye is a free phone-based peer support program which offers emotional support, assessment, information, and referrals to people who are blind or visually impaired and their families. It helps people cope with the challenges of adjusting to vision loss, using trained peer support specialists who are also blind or visually impaired. They serve people in more than twenty states.
  • The American Council of the Blind (ACB) has a list of helpful resources for people with vision loss and their families. It also has a national directory of affiliates in each state. Seniors can find information through the ACB affiliate Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss.

 

 

 

 

  • Vision Exchange is an online resource for support group leaders who facilitate support groups for adults with vision loss. The purpose is to exchange ideas, information, and community resources to help adults with low vision be more independent

 

  • The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) was the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home. FCA now offers programs at national, state, and local levels to support and sustain caregivers, and has an online family support group.

 

 

Phone emotional peer support line for blind persons

Rutgers has launched the nation’s first peer support helpline for the legally blind and their families.

Eye2Eye – 833-932-3931 (83-EYE2EYE-1) – is staffed 24/7 by peer support specialists who are legally blind and understand the challenges callers face.

The program, which is funded by a grant from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, serves residents in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The helpline assists people with vision impairments and blindness to work through some of the practical and emotional challenges associated with losing vision. Services include peer support, clinical assessment and referrals to resources for help with mental health, employment and technology. The program also offers callers resilience training to promote wellness, strength and self-care.

Recent studies show that one-third of people with vision loss suffer from depression and anxiety. This risk has gone largely unaddressed in the medical community, which has focused more on the practical problems faced by the visually impaired, such as finding employment and navigating everyday tasks, said Steven Silverstein, a clinical psychologist and vision researcher who co-directs the program with Cherie Castellano, the National Peer Support Call Center program director at  Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.

The Eye2Eye peers all have different forms of visual impairments, and these began at different times during their lives. This allows for a ‘cultural connection’ between callers with a wide range of vision problems and life concerns, and our peer counselors.”

Steven Silverstein, clinical psychologist and vision researcher

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