What we're about
This group is designed to be a safe space for those currently struggling or have struggled with mental health issues in the past, and friends/family members/colleagues/acquaintances of those who struggle or have struggled, irrespective of the type of mental health issue being dealt with or the background/walk of life of those dealing with it, whether directly or in the capacity of those in the sufferer's support network.
This group is also open to those with personality/behavioral disorders such as Autism Spectrum, Attention Deficit, Obsessive-Compulsive, Avoidant Personality, and even those with "stigmatized" character traits like shyness, introversion and the like. This group is also (very much) open to mental health professionals in every field and scope of practice. In fact, as I am not personally a mental health professional, I would highly encourage those who are to join the group and even assist with gatherings, as their schedule allows.
Also welcome are mental health advocates, representatives from government and non-profit mental health awareness and advocacy entities, faith leaders, education and criminal justice professionals, public servants, creative types, and even laypeople who simply have a curiosity and desire to learn more about mental health issues in general.
A big part of the vision for this group is to encourage and facilitate the active involvement of mental health professionals and advocates from a variety of fields. To this end, there is an opportunity for any mental health professional or advocate to become designated as an Event Organizer should they so desire. Event Organizers have the capability to create, add and edit events of their choosing. This of course will not only allow for greater representation, reach and autonomy from the group, but will also eventually work to share and disperse the process of finding and scheduling events so that no one individual ever feels overburdened. It is all in the interest of building a collaborative culture (I do this in my other two Meetup groups as well) that affords all participants increasing numbers of options in terms of events and activities to attend, and which may eventually lead to more people joining the group overall.
This group promotes a respectful, accepting and inclusive environment for every gathering, free of judgment or any inkling of strife or prejudice. We are all here to learn from one another and support each other in our respective journeys toward lasting wellness, sustained by a constant hope bolstered by an ever-increasing ability to cope with life's difficulties and challenges effectively. Please note that I am not a mental health professional and this is not a professionally-facilitated group therapy setting. Nor is this an official peer-to-peer support network. If you are seeking professional care for a possible mental health-related condition in yourself or someone you know, please go through the proper health care channels in order to get the help you need. I will be more than happy to refer you to any number of mental health organizations that can set you in the right direction.
We will organize a mixture of informal gatherings, activities in the arts, advocacy walks, and workshops and events related to mental health awareness and recovery. Of course, members are highly-encouraged to share their own interests with the group, and especially how those interests have served them in their recovery or in the recovery of someone they know. Hopefully this sharing will lead to even more ideas for meetup events.
Hope to meet everyone soon! Be well.