Employee & Community Health

Group connects individuals to mental health support

8/20/2015

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Each week, the Connection Support Group, a peer-based group led by trained facilitators, meets to help patients face the challenges and celebrate the successes of living with mental illness. The sessions are held every Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Room 1-507 in the Baldwin Building (221 Fourth Avenue SW, Rochester, MN). This is an open support group for individuals age 18 or older. No registration or referral is required, participants can drop in anytime and, since this is a community offering, no reference is included in your medical record. 

The Connection Support Group held at Baldwin is a collaboration between ECH's Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) practice and the National Alliance on Mental Illness Southeast Minnesota (NAMI SEMN). NAMI is the national's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for millions of American's affected by mental illness. The local affiliate trains facilitators who are in recovery themselves. 

Courtney Lawson, director of NAMI SEMN, says that "Patients who are living with mental illness have three major challenges or overcome: the stigma associated with mental illness, access to services and navigating the system. "

Kris Djupedal is a group facilitator. "Participating in the group shows people that they're not alone, that there are other 'people like me.' They're able to share ideas and things they've learned about their illness and connect in a place, which might be the only place where they feel safe." 

For more information, visit the NAMI SEMN website.