Free mental health help


For those struggling with mental health issues, or even thinking they may have an issue, a new free program is available in Hillsboro. It is offered by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Southern Ohio, through what is called a Peer To Peer Support group.

“NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a free, 12-session educational program for adults with mental illness who are looking to better understand their condition and journey toward recovery,” Lance Cranmer, executive director of the Hillsboro NAMI location, said in a news release. “Taught by a trained team of people who’ve been there, the program includes presentations, discussion and interactive exercises. Everything is confidential, and NAMI never recommends a specific medical therapy or treatment approach.”

The sessions will be held at the Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center at 108 Erin Court in Hillsboro. They run from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays and the first one was scheduled to start Sept. 13.

Ideally, Cranmer said, those interested in the sessions would call ahead and reserve a spot. But he said some may be able to walk in if there is room. He said a typical group would include 10 to 15 people.

The sessions are split between a classroom setting and traditional support group.

“They’ll start off talking about a specific topic and go through a roundtable discussion,” Cranmer said. “After that, other people at the table will have a chance to say, ‘Hey, I’ve gone through that,’ and relate their experience.”

September is Suicide Prevention Month.

“So obviously, it’s a big concern,” Cranmer said. “It’s something people don’t need to be afraid to talk about, and that’s what we’re here for. We want people to feel comfortable saying, ‘I have a problem.’”

The in-person group experience provides participants the opportunity for mutual support and positive impact, according to Cranmer.

He also said there may be transportation options for those that need them.

”You can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to your experiences. Through your participation, you have the opportunity to help others grow,” Cranmer said. “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.“

For more information call 740-851-4242.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522
NAMI offering new program Thursdays in Hillsboro

By Jeff Gilliland

[email protected]

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