Great help and healing can come from talking with a peer—someone who has been through a situation much like your own. In peer relationships, people learn from and support one another. In New Hampshire, there are four types of organizations that provide peer support for people who have or had mental illness:
- NAMI Connection
- Peer Support Agencies (PSAs)
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
These four types of organizations are all a little different—and each group within these organizations is different, too. Read below for a very basic description of these different organizations. The links will lead to more detailed information. If you try one group and it doesn’t feel like quite what you’re looking for, try another. They really all do have their own feel to them, with their own atmosphere and culture.
These organizations and their services are all free and intended for adults age 18 and older who identify as ‘clients’ or ‘consumers’—the terms often used to describe someone who has or had (or feels at risk for) mental illness.
Connection support groups are NAMI NH's support groups for consumers, led by trained consumers who are in recovery. At meetings, people learn from and support one another on their paths to recovery. For a list of current support groups around the state, click here.
Peer Support Agencies (PSAs)
Peer Support Agencies (PSAs) are private, not-for-profit agencies that are part of New Hampshire’s mental health system. The peer support services they provide (depending on the individual group), may include: face-to-face and telephone peer support; outreach; monthly educational events; activities that promote self-advocacy; wellness training; after hours warm line; and crisis respite (a 24-hour, short-term, non-medical crisis program).
There are Peer Support Agencies all over the state. For a listing of Peer Support Agencies, please visit here.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
This national peer support organization focuses on people with depression and bipolar disorder—but its support groups in New Hampshire welcome people with any mental wellness issues. DBSA chapters are independent, non-profit organizations that are peer-led. DBSA chapters in New Hampshire run several support group meetings around the state. At support group meetings, a trained peer facilitator helps people to share experiences, feelings, information, and strategies for living successfully with mental illness. Click here for a list of these support groups.
DBSA meetings in New Hampshire are open to consumers with any mental wellness issues, as well as to their friends and family members.
There is one Clubhouse in New Hampshire. Clubhouses are based on a model used worldwide that is designed to create a community of recovery and support for its members, who have mental illness. Clubhouses are run during a typical Monday through Friday workweek, and members volunteer to assist with the work of their Clubhouse according to their interests and abilities. Clubhouses help their members to find employment, housing, education, and services. Outside of these activities, Clubhouses also provide social events.
The Clubhouse in Portsmouth is called Seacoast Pathways, and their website is www.seacoastpathways.org.