STS Online Mental Health Support Group – Monday through Friday – COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t mean we have to be alone.

STAND UP TO STIGMA IS HOLDING ONLINE PEER SUPPORT GROUPS FIVE DAYS A WEEK.

Support Groups by Peers and for Peers.

All times are Mountain Time Zone (GMT -7)

Monday
12:00PM to 1:30PM

Tuesday
12:00PM to 1:30PM

Wednesday
7:00PM to 8:30PM

Thursday
7:00PM to 8:30PM

Friday
7:00PM to 8:30PM

– STS is using Google Hangouts for our online support groups. You will need a free Google account to join the online groups.

– That day’s online group Hangouts link is provided on the homepage of our two STS websites, 30 minutes before group begins.

http://dbsaalbuquerque.org

http://standuptosrigma.org

– The daily Hangouts link is also available to subrscribers of the STS Community Beacon email list.

http://standuptostigma.org/sts-community-beacon/

– Facilitators open the support group 15 minutes prior to group start time.

– You can join the group at any time. You don’t need to show up at the start of group.

We hope to see you! We don’t have to be alone.

The words and guidance of Dr. Chris Morris are a cornerstone to my peer advocacy

This is an important photo in my recovery journey and the advocacy stuff I do.

Taken at Behavioral Health Day at the New Mexico State Capitol Building (aka “The Roundhouse”) in 2012, this was my first full term as president of DBSA Albuquerque. The photo is of me (obviously) and Dr. Chris Morris, then with Optum Health.

DBSA Albuquerque had a table for the event and Chris dropped by to say hi. When the crowd thinned out a bit, Chris asked to have a private word with me.

By this point early on in peer advocacy, I was fairly well-networked and fairly well-known as a peer advocate. And, it was already a thing I was torquing off prominent stakeholders who’d been in the community much longer than the two years I’d been around.

So Chris pulled me aside and said, “Steve, you know you’re making people mad and upset, right?”

Sadly, I knew this. And it was a mystery as to why.

Chris then said, “Why should anyone be mad at you? What are you doing wrong? You create new support groups, you hold peer focus groups for advisement, you bring peers to meetings so they can have a direct voice, you set up peer education events, you write opinion pieces and letters to anyone you feel can help peers, you hold community education developed and presented by peers. Why should anyone be angry with you? You’re not doing anything but trying to help peers be empowered.

“This is the reason: You are threatening people’s power, money, or both. You are outside their influence and they can’t control you. This is why people are angry with you.”

Wow. A bit of a gut-punch to hear that. I really was naive early on.

Chris then offered advice which is a cornerstone to how I approach advocacy to this day. Chris said this:

“Don’t stop doing things your way. If you do, then you’ll put yourself where others can control you … and stop you.”

These words mean everything to me and are a constant reminder to keep straight on what my friends are saying and the goals I hope to accomplish. Chris’ words are also a reminder of how limiting bureaucracy is and how building new, novel solutions to peer needs is more efficient and successful than trying to fix broken systems.

Chris’ words also guided me to the very foundation of how I view behavioral health advocacy:

The enemy of innovation is asking for permission.

And, yes, I still piss people off. And, yes, people still try to stop me.

Dr. Chris Morris is a hero of mine. With complete sincerity. Thank you, Chris.

“What group are you with?” Stand Up To Stigma explained

A number of folks I’ve recently met asked “Are you with NAMI?” or “Are you with DBSA?” or ‘Are you with MHRAC?” or “Are you with ____?”

The answer is “No.” I’ve resigned from each board and committee of all organizations where once I held leadership positions and I am focusing exclusively on Stand Up To Stigma peer education programs, peer focus groups, and peer support groups. These are the projects important to me and my close friends and to be most responsive to the needs of our communities we must be a fully independent peer collaborative.

What I learned is behavioral health solutions must be innovative and opportunistic. The enemy of innovation is asking someone else for permission to do what you KNOW is right in your heart.

When I was 46 the State of New Mexico honored me with an award for Lifetime Achievement in Behavioral Health Innovation. I’m stoked by the opportinities DBSA, NAMI, MHRAC, APD, BCFIC, and other organizations/acronyms provided me. What I realized is what was being honored was the advocacy stuff I was accomplishing independent of existing organizations.

So, the longer answer is it’s great collaborating with good folks like NAMI and DBSA, and it’s doing stuff as a completely peer-developed, peer-managed, and peer-led organization where I feel most useful in mental health advocacy.

My friends and I work best where growth, community, and innovation are encouraged and nurtured.

We’ll be talking a lot more about STS’s mission as we move forward with our support of our community.

DBSA Albuquerque has a new Tuesday evening peer support group!!!

DBSA Albuquerque a new Tuesday peer support group!!!
Beginning on Tuesday, January 29, DBSA Albuquerque offers a new weekly peer support group for our New Mexico communities.


It’s been a while since we’ve had our evening group centrally located in Albuquerque. By popular demand, we now have a new venue that is friendly, safe, and easily accessible from both I-25 and I-40.

Like our Monday afternoon and Friday evening peer support groups, DBSA Albuquerque offers our Tuesday group free to the community. There is no need to register ahead of time. Just show up and meet other folks who understand what you’re going through in a safe, welcome, and judgment-free space.

Every Tuesday
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
First Unitarian Church
RE Room 3
3701 Carlisle Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
 
On the SE corner of the
Carlisle & Comanche intersection

Across Comanche from
KOAT 7 News

Dedicated Accessible Parking
First Floor Accessible Entrance.
Parking entrance on Comanche just west of Carlisle

Announcing Stand Up To Stigma’s partnership with DBSA Albuquerque

Stand Up To Stigma is excited to announce our partnership with The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA Albuquerque). This collaboration is to bring all the resources and benefits of peer support to our peer presenters trained in our Stand Up To Stigma education programs. Peer support is an essential component for success on a peer’s recovery journey, and DBSA Albuquerque peer support groups are strongly endorsed for Stand Up To Stigma peer presenters and mental health peers in our communities.

DBSA Albuquerque support groups adhere to Eight Guiding Principles:

  • Share the air – Everyone who wishes to speak should have the opportunity to do.
  • One person speaks at a time – Each person should be allowed to speak free from interruption and side conversations.
  • What is said here stays here – This is the essential principle of confidentiality and MUST be respected by all.
  • Differences of opinion are o.k. – We are all entitled to our own point of view.
  • We are all equal – Accept cultural, linguistic, social and racial differences and promote their acceptance.
  • Use “I” language – Because we do not participate in support groups as credentialed professionals, we do not INSTRUCT or ADVISE. We however do share from our own personal experiences. We are unique individuals and only we know what is best for our own health (along with our doctor’s recommendations). Example: “In my experience, I have found . . .”
  • It’s o.k. not to share – People do not have to share if they do not wish to.
  • It’s everyone’s responsibility to make the discussion groups a safe place to share – We respect confidentiality, treat each other with respect and kindness, and show compassion.

DBSA Albuquerque is the longest running DBSA support group in New Mexico and is considered as the most highly regarded mental health peer support organization in New Mexico.

We are looking forward to our continued close collaboration with DBSA Albuquerque and all the benefits this partnership brings to peers and our communities.

DBSA Albuquerque and Stand Up To Stigma strongly believe that . . .

Stigma Is Temporary