DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

February 15, 2012

Avery House hosts numerous support groups


LONDONDERRY — The Avery House at Londonderry Presbyterian Church offers four support groups for families and adults struggling with mental illness, substance abuse, and emotional or behavioral issues.

Avery House is at 126 Pillsbury Road.

NAMI Family to Family Support Group meets the first and third Monday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Participants make connections with other adults who have adult loved ones with mental illness.

Meet others who understand the challenges you face and the opportunities ahead, share your experiences and feel the same way you do.

They can help you learn new coping skills and will share their successes and strategies with you.

Groups are led by a trained facilitator, who is a family member. Contact facilitator Michelle Brown at 421-2916 or Laura Bobroff at 437-3810

FASTER, Families Advocating for Substance Treatment Education and Recovery support groups for parents are free, confidential and made up of peers.

Group members are respectful of others' views, accepting of chemical dependency as a treatable disease of the brain and always hopeful.

Are you concerned with your teen or young adult's use of alcohol or other drugs? These free support groups consist of parents and caregivers discussing issues associated with children, teens and young adults affected by alcohol and/or other drugs.

Groups are led by trained facilitators, who use a nationally recognized model and who have experience with family issues related to chemical dependency. Facilitators help connect group members with resources.

Learning from and sharing with peers in a confidential setting helps parents and caregivers improve their coping skills.

For specific dates and times in your community or to start a FASTER group, email Janis Lilly at fasternewhampshire@gmail.com or call Sue at 475-1473.

The group meets the second and fourth Monday of the month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Avery House.

Parents Meeting the Challenge is an eight-session educational program that provides parents and primary caregivers the opportunity to learn, share and connect with others who face similar challenges in caring for children/adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders.

This program provides tools, strategies and information to help parents and caregivers meet the challenges of parenting/taking care of a child with emotional and behavioral disorders, to navigate the system and advocate for their child's mental health needs.

Volunteer parents, who bring both knowledge and personal experience, have been trained and certified by NAMI NH to teach Parents Meeting the Challenge. Participants receive a copy of the "Guidebook for Caregivers of Children and Adolescents with Serious Emotional Disorders" and an educational packet that includes science-based information and current publications on children/adolescent emotional and behavioral disorders.

The curriculum will cover facing mental illness in the family, brain biology, common childhood emotional disorders, developmental stages, managing family stressors and identifying service needs, crisis planning and more.

The sessions started Feb. 15 and continue through April 11 at the Avery Center.

Call 800-242-6264, Ext. 28.

Parent Support Groups are offered around the state for parents who have a child/adolescent with serious emotional disorders. In Londonderry, meetings are the third Tuesday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m.

Call facilitator Susan Allen-Samuel at 225-5359, Ext. 28.

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