Taught by a trained team of people who’ve been there, the program includes presentations, discussion and interactive exercises. Everything is confidential, and NAMI Bucks County never recommends a specific medical therapy or treatment approach.
What You’ll Gain
This in-person group experience provides the opportunity for mutual support and positive impact. You can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to your experiences. Through your participation, you have the opportunity to help others grow. This is a confidential place to learn from shared experiences in an environment of sincere, uncritical acceptance. Recovery is a journey, and there is hope for all people living with mental illness.
NAMI Bucks Peer-to-Peer helps you:
- Create a personalized relapse prevention plan
- Learn how to interact with health care providers
- Develop confidence for making decisions and reducing stress
- Stay up-to-date on mental health research
- Understand the impact of symptoms on your life
- Access practical resources on how to maintain your journey toward recovery
Peer-to-Peer participants come away from the course with a binder of hand-out materials, as well as many other tangible resources: an advance directive; a “relapse prevention plan” to help identify tell-tale feelings, thoughts, behavior or events that may warn of impending relapse and to organize for intervention; mindfulness exercises to help focus and calm thinking; and survival skills for working with providers and the general public. Each class contains a combination of lecture and interactive exercise material and closes with Mindfulness Practice (techniques offered to develop and expand awareness). Each class builds on the one before: attendance each week, therefore, is required.
What Recovery Means to Us
by Shery Mead MSW and Mary Ellen Copeland MS, MA
Copyright: Plenum Publishers, New York, NY, 2000
What are the key facets of a recovery scenario?
- There is hope. A vision of hope that includes no limits.
- It’s up to each individual to take responsibility for their own wellness. There is no one else who can do this for us.
- Education is a process that must accompany us on this journey. We search for sources of information that will help us to figure out what will work for us.
- Each of us must advocate for ourselves to get what it is we want, need and deserve.
- Mutual relationship and support is a necessary component of the journey to wellness.
What People are Saying
“NAMI Peer-to-Peer has allowed me to take the focus off my illness and learn to balance it with the rest of my life. By engaging in recovery I am able to be more relaxed and productive both at work and home.”
“It made me feel I was not alone in coping with mental illness. It gave me hope that I could recover and that my life would not always be filled with chaos, and it gave me positive role models to inspire me to strive for recuperation and success in life.”
An Inside Look at NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer Program
My Experience with NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer Recovery Education Course by Donna R.
I have been in recovery for the last 4 years, living well with my illness, and accepting the limitations of Bi-polar Disorder. I had discovered ways to cope and encourage my family to help with the accommodations I required: i.e. quiet time; reduced stress; etc.
When I began my relapse prevention plan during Peer-to-Peer, I didn’t believe that I could benefit from this exercise. However, as I started to think back to events leading up to my last relapse, I found that I wasn’t accepting responsibility for my own care. I realized that I needed to be more vigilant watching for signs of relapse. Only I can control the amount of rest and exercise that I get. I’m the only one who knows if I get dressed or leave the house during the week.
I have learned to make time for going out, even if I have to go out alone. I can go to the grocery store and not let everyone else do it for me. I have learned to call a friend to go for a walk. My family can’t always be there to entertain me. I found that internet communications are no substitute for human voices. I have learned that only I can make me happy and sometimes happy is what I already am.
Sign Up for a Class
This class is being held in Bucks County, PA. Find the NAMI Peer-to-Peer class nearest to you. If a class isn’t available, contact your local NAMI about starting one. See our calendar for more education, support, and presentations.