Welcome to The NYC Depression Support Group Meet Up.
This is a group of like-minded, respectful individuals who are suffering from depression and anxiety. Even if you do not have a formal diagnosis and feel as though you are suffering from Depression, you are more than welcome to attend.
We discuss day to day struggles with Depression such as isolation, negative self-talk, therapy, overwhelm, stuck feelings, relationships and we find that in our sharing we are not alone in these struggles.
We are peer-led which means there are no licensed professionals leading. We operate mostly as a support group.
NOTE: This particular time may be a time of great struggle for many. You are not alone, you may be facing financial difficulties: IF YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE IN THE TIMES OF COVID-19, NYS has launched a mental health hotline: for FREE emotional support, consultation, and referral to a provider, call 1-844-863-9314.
NYC WELL program: https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us/en/ is a city-wide free, confidential mental health support. Speak to a counselor via phone, text, or chat and get access to mental health and substance use services, in more than 200 languages, 24/7/365. The number to call is 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355).
NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: (800)- 273-TALK (82551)
1. Be kind, respectful, and avoid conflicts. This is a PEER SUPPORT group. That does not mean you have to like everyone. There will be people in it who represent a different lifestyle, creed, race, sexual orientation, economic status or political beliefs or just plainly get on your nerves because of their personality: whoever they are, it is of utmost importance to focus of what we have in common and how to help one another.
Any form of racism, prejudice towards any ethnic groups, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities, or gender will not be tolerated.
If you ever find yourself in a situation of conflicts with another group member, speak to them directly. You can contact them through Meetup with a personal email or set up a time to talk in person. The way NOT to deal with it is to post attacking messages on the message board, talk about the individual at group meetings, or contact any of the organizers unless it is an issue affecting the well-being of the group as a whole.
2. As they say on airplanes: Your own oxygen mask first. We are all peers. There are no professionals in this group. If you are in a crisis, please seek professional help instead of coming to the group or posting on the message board. Members can offer support but they are not professionals and cannot deal with these tenuous situations. No group member should feel responsible for another group member’s safety.
3. Be mindful of other people’s triggers. We all have struggled significantly with depression, which is why we are in this group. Different things are triggering for different people and we can never guarantee that someone won’t be affected or triggered in a negative way. Try to minimize the chance of this happening: it’s okay to say “I feel (or have been) suicidal,” but please avoid graphic details around self-injury or suicidality in group discussions or on the message boards. Please use similar good judgment if discussing sexual assault, child abuse, or other traumatic events. Avoid posts that deliberately provoke guilt or manipulate others.
4. Refrain from judgment. Different people are in different stages of their struggles with depression. Everyone deals with their struggles differently. There is no one right way to deal with things. Please be respectful of each other and try to put yourself in other people’s shoes. We have all known what it feels like to struggle and be alone. This group should not make it worse for anyone.
5. It’s important to show up but try to be on time. If you’re coming but running late, do not disrupt others. Due to the nature of depression as an illness, not everyone can reliably commit to coming to meetings. While having a rough estimate of numbers of people attending a group is helpful and RSVPing is encouraged, we understand that this is not always possible for people. In addition, we recognize that due to illness or other conflicts people cannot always arrive on time. People coming late is better than not coming at all if they can get some support. But so as not to disrupt the group, please do not talk to members arriving late.
6. The group serves us best if there’s structure. Our (hopefully weekly) meetings will adhere to a pre-set scenario. See the suggested format for the first meetup. After a short welcome, members will have the opportunity to give a 5-minute introduction about themselves (history, current struggles, things that have helped, etc). This introduction time does not involve any questions or cross-talk as it is really just an opportunity for people to share what they want in an uninterrupted way. This is a time where speaking about other group members is not allowed. After the introductions, more informal discussions can take place either as a whole group or in smaller groups. This is the time to talk to someone about what they shared in their introduction, ask more questions, or discuss what is on your mind.
This rule, however, does not apply to ancillary events which might be hosted by any member of the group. Feel encouraged to call for a smaller meeting near you; just make sure that whatever you do during those meetings does not make things worse for your peers. It applies especially to alcohol and other mood-changing substances at these events: some of us might be in recovery so inviting them over for a drink or other “fun” might endanger their sobriety. BE SUPER MINDFUL OF THIS. What’s good for you might not be necessarily great for other people.
7. The group welcomes all adults and it will be its goal to make sure that it’s accessible for low-income people. For some members of our group, financial constraints are an issue. Therefore, we hold our meetings in free public spaces. While this opens the door for people to participate, it also can have the drawback of being loud and making it difficult to hear fellow members. Some people have trouble projecting their voice so please do not ask other members to speak up during their introductions unless they have made it clear they would like people to do so.
I am working on finding us a permanent home. Your input and help on this will be invaluable.
8. Protect your privacy and respect the privacy of others. The success of this group is based upon the anonymity of its members. Any clear evidence that a member has infringed upon the privacy of another by revealing actual names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. will lead to a permanent ban. We are all responsible to uphold this basic principle.
This rule means also that there will be no recording of any kind or picture-taking at our meetings. Please be aware that sharing stuff on social media can also infringe on the privacy of others: please don't do that.
Over time, you might find true and close friends in this group; who knows, perhaps a romantic partner; this DOES NOT mean this group is a dating service. Furthermore, it will not welcome “emotional tourists” or any members of the media interested in covering the topic of mental illness unless they have been specifically invited under the full consent of all participating members.