The other day I came across an article that listed the “10 Best Online Peer Support Groups.” Of course not one peer group geared toward black women, black people or the BIPOC community in general was listed. This is exactly why spaces like Mindful + Melanated are necessary. For those who are new to our sister circle, we run virtual peer support groups for our members every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. EST. We discuss the topic of the day while supporting each other. Because of the connection and bond we have developed among the community, our peer support groups feel more like sister circles (hence the name)!
Joining a peer support group is a great way to enhance your treatment plan and/or sustain your overall mental wellness. A peer support group is not the same as group therapy. Peer support groups are run by persons who have lived experience with mental health issues – rather than a licensed therapist. These groups focus on emotional support, sharing experiences, education and practical activities. Peer groups are NOT a substitute for therapy done by a licensed clinician.
I recently interviewed Nieisha Deed, an amazing black woman who also runs a virtual peer support group for people of color. We talked about the importance of peer support and having positive people in our lives. Her groups are run through her organization, PureSpark. Through this organization, “she strives to bring hope to those who find themselves in a dark place.”
Sis, if you have depression and are considered “high-functioning” or the “strong friend” or the one who has it “all the way together” I highly recommend you watch Nieisha share her story. This queen had a dope, high-paying corporate job and it weighed down on her mental health so much that she had to be hospitalized. You can watch the full interview on our YouTube channel.
If you watched the interview live or saw the replay, make sure to log into your Mindfulnista account and share your thoughts in the open forum. Don’t have an account? Get one today! See you in the circle!
aka Regina Thee Mindfulnista
Regina Renaye is the founder of Mindful + Melanated. She is a cat mom, coffee lover, horrible karaoke singer and peer support pioneer. To contact Regina about partnerships, speaking engagements or just to say ‘Hey Sis’, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.