Peer to Peer Support Groups help many.  As my first act of an Depression Bipolar Support Alliance AMBASSADOR I would like to bring up the subject of Peer to peer support (pear to pear support as i like to draw it).

2013 Mental Health Humor - Pear to Pear Cheer Support - Chato Stewart

This was my very first blog interview with Mr. Chris C. former Secretary and a founding member with me of Sarasota chapter of the DBSA peer-to-peer support group 2003-2005. (Actually, the interview ran in our support groups’ monthly newsletter I wrote and printed. I used the newsletter to post/publish around town about our meeting times and location.)

Chris and met in a training group at a provider in Sarasota. No, we were not being trained. It was to train student therapists.  Every other week our core group of 5 people, seeking desperately to get help but not being able to afford therapy, would get a new student who had no clue what to do. With each student therapist, we had to basically rehash all our issues again and it became a never-ending-cycle-of-dread-and-loathing! So, Chris and I started our own support groups with the DBSA. This interview was to get his first hand knowledge of being part of a support group and it’s benefits. I think it still has a few good points, even though it’s not in-depth.

CHATO: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Chris.
Mr. Chris C.: Please call me Chris and I’m glad to help.

CHATO: When were you first diagnosed?
Mr. Chris C.: It was in October of 1992 during a hospital stay I received the diagnosis of Manic Depression or Bipolar as it is called now.

CHATO: What medications are you taking and are they helping?
Chris: “I take Geodon and Zyprexa and I feel balanced now”.

CHATO: How long have you been a member of your peer-to-peer support group?

Mr. Chris C.: “It’s been a year now, I was there when you first came
up with the idea, I knew it would be a good thing and I wanted to be part
of it.”

CHATO: What has the group meetings done for you personally?
Mr. Chris C.: “It has educated me about my own disorder and given me a
safe place to go.”

CHATO: What is a good day for you?
Mr. Chris C.: “Getting all my work done and having no stress.”

CHATO:What is a bad day for you?
Mr. Chris C.: “Having too much stress and being disorganized.”

CHATO: In conclusion, how would you sum up going to a peer to peer group?
Mr. Chris C.: “It is an educational tool and a safe place to share
experiences while maintaining balance.”