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Peer SupportWhat is Peer Support?

Peer support is based on a belief that building genuine, mutual, one-on-one relationships can lead to greater insight and self-awareness for both people.

Mutual means that the relationship is working if it's working for both people. Genuine means that we are going to show up ready to connect on a human-to-human level as a learner and not an expert.

Peer support staff are chosen for our ability to relate and connect with others, in part because of our life experience. We are able to relate to distress, marginalization, and oppression because they have been through it.

How to Connect with the Peer Support Team

Leave us a message at (802) 886-4567 ext. 2625 (leave us a message with your contact information and we will call you back).

Send us an email at peersupport@hcrs.org.

Or talk with your HCRS provider about connecting with us. 

 

Peer Support May Be Helpful If Someone:

  • Is looking for connection or to be heard
  • Needs more support than they are currently getting
  • Isn't understanding or being understood by other providers and needs a "translator" or mediator
  • Has an advocacy need
  • Would like to talk with another person who has had a similar experience (it's possible that no one on our team has had this particular experience, but we try to connect people who have that shared experience)
  • Wants to get connected to a community, group, etc.
  • Is interested in exploring alternative perspectives to make sense of their experience(s)
  • Is feeling traumatized or harmed by treatment/the system
  • Is looking for support or information on reducing, changing, or eliminating psychiatric drugs

The LEC (Life Enrichment Center)

The LEC is a hub for life-enriching activiites, conversations, and advocacy for anyone over 18 who works at or receives services from HCRS. Peer support staff manage operations for this community space.

The LEC is open Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 am - 2:00 pm and on Fridays from 11:30 am - 3:30 pm and is located at the HCRS main office at 390 River Street in Springfield, Vermont. Activities include various mutual support groups, arts and crafts, meditation, games, music, and more!

Frequently Asked Questions about the L.E.C.

What is the L.E.C?

The Life Enrichment Center is a hub for life-enriching activities, conversations, and advocacy for anyone over 18 who works at HCRS or receives services from HCRS.

What hours is the L.E.C open?

Open hours for the space are Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 am - 2:00 pm and Fridays from 11:30 am - 3:30 pm.

Who runs the L.E.C? 

The peer support team manages the operations for this community space.

How do I refer people to the L.E.C? 

There is no referral needed to use the L.E.C. Like peer support services at HCRS, the L.E.C is a voluntary space.

What COVID precautions are going to be in place? 

We will be asking that anyone entering the space wear a mask due to the layout of the space. 

Where is the L.E.C. located? 

The L.E.C. is located at 390 River Street in Springfield, Vermont.

Who do I contact for more information?

Please email peersupport@hcrs.org or call 802-886-4567 ext. 2625 for more information or if you have questions.

What Else Do We Do?

Social Justice:

We do our best to represent the voice of the psychiatric survivor community in agency practices, policies, and culture and to help move the system to a more holistic, non-pathologizing, and rights-conscious approach.

Building Community and Capacity:

We are interested in helping to make mutual support more accessible to HCRS clients and the community at large by supporting the development of grassroots support networks, facilitating groups, and sharing peer support skills and values. The Life Enrichment Center is one example of how this is happening in Springfield.

How to Connect with The Peer Support Team

Peer Support Voicemail Line:

(802) 886-4567 ext. 2625 (leave a message with your contact info and we will call you back)

Peer Support Email:

peersupport@hcrs.org

Or talk with one of your HCRS providers about connecting with us

 

 

Peer Support Groups - Available to HCRS Clients & Community Members

 

Substance Use Group

Every Tuesday, 1-2pm. Our Peer Support Substance Use group is not a traditional 12-step group. Instead, we use a harm reduction approach to supporting folks who want to change - or reflect upon - the ways they use drugs or alochol in their lives. Held on zoom.

 

Hearing Voices/Unusual Beliefs Group

As of 2/20/24, this group is taking a brief pause

Every Tuesday, 2-3pm. A group where people can come together and talk about their experiences of hearing voices, seeing visions, altered or extreme states, or other non-consensus realities. This group provides a safe space for exploring and making meaning of these experiences while benefiting from mutual support and connection from others with similar stories. Held in person in Brattleboro.

 

Peer Support Group

Every Friday, 1-2pm. The Peer Support Group is facilitated by a volunteer from HCRS. We cover all sorts of topics of interest to participants, from how we handle past traumas to what sorts of things bring us joy in our present lives. Topics are generated by the folks who attend. This is a very popular group - we welcome you to check it out. Held in person at our LEC in Springfield. 

 

Hearing Voices Group - this group is on pause 

Every Tuesday, 11-12pm. A group where people can come together and talk about their experiences of hearing voices, seeing visions, altered or extreme states, or other non-consensus realities. This group provides a safe space for exploring and making meaning of these experiences while benefiting from mutual support and connection from others with similar stories. Held on zoom.

 

Contact peersupport@hcrs.org for the information for any of these groups.