This month, NAMI Collier County launched a new Forensic Peer Support Group to support people with mental health diagnoses who are involved in the criminal justice system. The free support group will meet weekly on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to noon at NAMI’s Sarah Ann Drop-In Center in Naples.

The goal of the Forensic Peer Support Group is to connect members to the necessary resources that will support their transition back into the community. With a judgement-free, confidential and closed group setting, participants can feel comforted with the familiarity of shared life experiences, while they gain the support of peers in pursuing their path forward in life.

A group member shared: “Having a safe place to talk about everything we have gone through without having to feel ashamed means a lot to me.  It’s really nice to hear from people who have gotten through this and know there’s hope for a better future.”

The program’s mission is to build an empowered and informed community of individuals who are familiar with the processes of the court systems, the complicated mending of relationships, and the social and financial challenges ahead to help ease the path toward healthy, sustainable routines. Suggested topics for group discussion include stigmas, losing friends, housing and employment.

For more than 25 years, NAMI’s Sarah Ann Drop-In Center has been a confidential, accepting and safe environment where people over the age of 18 with a mental health diagnosis can participate in support groups, and a variety of social and recreational activities. The center is managed and operated by people who have a lived experience with mental health diagnosis and recovery oriented.

NAMI Collier County’s Forensic Peer Support Group will meet at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays at 6324 Trail Blvd. in Naples. To learn more, call 239-431-6824 or visit namicollier.org.

 

About NAMI Collier County

NAMI Collier County provides free education, to help individuals living with mental illness along with their families, caregivers & health care providers. NAMI programs include Support Groups, a Family-to-Family 12-week program for families and caregivers of persons with diagnosed mental illnesses, and Guide, a series of monthly seminars, which provide helpful information to caregivers of adults with mental illness. The Sarah Ann Drop-In Center, located at 6324 Trail Boulevard in Naples, is a self-standing center where persons with a diagnosis may go during the day, six days a week with classes, support groups, daily activities, lunches and outings. Every other month, NAMI trains 30 members of law enforcement and related agencies to be members of CIT (Crisis Intervention Team), providing information about mental illness and how to de-escalate potentially deadly confrontations. NAMI continuously provides over $30,000 in financial assistance for psychiatric evaluations and emergency prescriptions, shelter, and food. NAMI depends largely on individual and corporate donations.