This presentation is an exploration of the value of taking part in mental health support groups. Presenters will describe and explain the structure and benefits of different types of groups including therapy groups (both psychoeducational and process oriented), 12-step groups such as AA and NA, and peer support groups. Presenters will explain the value of group attendance in improving mental health outcomes. The workshop will provide participants with a chance to experience what attending a NAMI peer support group is like. Workshop leaders Roland and Nicole will share their mental health stories and describe how attending and facilitating NAMI support groups has helped them to gain a community of support. Workshop participants will experience how NAMI peer support groups can help make connections and build community to support their recovery and healing.
Nicole Bergeron Nicole lives in Portland and is a high school tennis coach. She has been living with mental illness most of her life and didn’t realize until adulthood that a support group could be helpful. She is now certified in Mental Health First Aid and facilitates a weekly peer support group through NAMI Maine. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys music, photography, and the outdoors.
Roland Thibault Roland lives in Westbrook and his life focus has been battling struggles with mental health issues, both personally and professionally. He has worked as a teacher and a substance abuse counselor. Roland currently works with young people who have dropped out of school, helping them achieve their high school equivalency. He volunteers with NAMI Maine as a support group facilitator and is affiliate leader for NAMI Portland.