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What we're about

This a Meetup for folks ready (with a little encouragement and support) to challenge the sadness and worry, hopelessness and fear that keep us isolated from one another and at the mercy of painful thoughts, feelings and events that seem beyond our control.

We hope you'll join us and explore the many low-key social gatherings and potentially life-changing learning opportunities on our calendar. These events provide fun, interesting, stress-free ways to meet new people you will like -- people like you! When you join us, you’ll find you already have a great deal in common with other members of our Meetup. You'll make new friends who can identify and relate to the challenges you're facing, and will want to start supporting each other and celebrating each other’s victories right away.

Since everyone in our Meetup already understands, from the inside out, how challenging depression and anxiety can be, you can attend our events knowing, even before you show up, that you won’t end up feeling awkward, alone, or out of place. Without even having to explain yourself, you’ll find it's easy to connect with others who can appreciate just how difficult it can be, at times, simply to get yourself out of the house.

Our social events include simple board and card game gatherings, trivia nights, live music events, city nature walks, hiking, biking and other outdoor adventures, volunteer opportunities, museum visits, art happenings, craft events, comedy and improv nights, movies, plays, lectures, readings, food events, holiday celebrations, etc.

Any member with an interest or idea, or who simply wants to start a new gathering closer to home, is welcome to plan and host a social event. That includes newcomers like you! Simply message Stephen, the Meetup Organizer, if you’d like to get a new event started in your neighborhood and other, like-minded souls involved.

In addition to social activities, our Meetup sponsors or co-sponsors a wide range of low-cost educational and community-building workshops. These interactive learning experiences are designed to help us think more optimistically and creatively, build deeper and more meaningful relationships, and learn valuable new strategies for effectively managing the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Our workshops create warm, welcoming, judgment-free spaces to learn and connect. They feature small group discussions and learning exercises designed to help us acknowledge our strengths, stay focused on solutions rather than problems, and gently hold ourselves accountable for identifying and reaching our goals. They also provide natural opportunities to offer and receive support and deeply engage with others committed to similar kinds of learning and growth.

Best of all, workshop topics and activities encourage us to take charge of our own well-being by developing new skills and gathering the resources and support we need to successfully challenge the distorted thinking, circular reasoning, false assumptions, unhelpful attitudes and outdated beliefs that have been holding us back.

We hope you'll join our community and learn more about us by attending any event that interests you. You’ll find we're warm, welcoming, fun-loving folk who want nothing more than for everyone on earth to be as happy as possible.

To cover ongoing costs and support all the behind-the-scenes work it takes to maintain a full calendar of events, we ask all our members, when they feel ready, to make a voluntary membership contribution of $20 per year. Member contributions are used to pay web hosting and payment processing fees charged by and to cover the cost of researching, planning, promoting and managing the 120+ free social events sponsored by our Meetup each year. Member contributions also help offset costs associated with the free workshops and discussion groups offered to members each month, outreach to find community partners willing to help sponsor events in new neighborhoods, volunteer recruitment and coordination, and one-on-one outreach and support provided to individual members.

But there's no pressure and no hurry. Member contributions are strictly voluntary and are not required to maintain membership in our Meetup. We encourage you to start attending our events right away, but to otherwise take your time getting to know us before deciding whether to make your membership contribution. We want to be sure you have a good sense of who we are, what we do, and whether our group is a good fit for you before you make any donations to the group.

In addition, if money is tight for you right now, feel free to contribute whatever amount you feel you can afford. Or consider volunteering your time as an event organizer or host instead of donating cash.

We know you'll come through, if you believe in what we do.

Because we believe in you, too. We believe in you even if you don't, any more. We know you can and will start feeling better, probably sooner than you think. And know that ending your isolation and spending more time with others who can understand what you're going through is a major step in the right direction.

So come on out! Don't hesitate!! We'd love to see you at one of our events!!!

PS: If you’re really struggling and need to talk to someone RIGHT NOW, contact the Multnomah County Call Center at (503) 988-4888. In addition, urgent care walk-in services are available through Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare from 7am - 10:30pm every day at 2415 SE 43rd Ave in Portland: (503) 238-0705.

PPS: To maintain confidentiality, be aware that you can manage the settings on your Meetup Profile to be sure your membership in our group remains invisible to other Meetup members. In addition, out of respect for the confidentiality of other members, please refrain from posting any photos from our events identifying others. Thank you!

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