Youth Peer Advocacy

COVID-19 and YOUth

COVID-19 and YOUth is a new virtual group series for young people who are struggling with the stress of COVID-19 and are looking for some extra support and resources. WNYIL's Youth Peer Advocates created this 4 part series to address the needs and better support young people in maintaining their wellness while practicing social distancing and focusing on self care. To join please register at https://bit.ly/2RZ9jSA or contact youth@wnyil.org or 716-836-0822 ext. 161

Specifics: 

  • Young people 14-28; Under 18 will need parent/guardian consent 
  •  Has a disability
  •  Lives within Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming counties 
  •  GoTo Meeting will be used as the platform, minimum of a phone OR internet connected device and a private space to participate

    To Register: 

Virtual Support Groups

 

MHPC                            WNYIL

Get Support Through Mental Health Peer Connection

 

People who need people

People Who Need People

Hosted by Leslie Saunders

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 AMa.m.

RSVP at lsaunders@wnyil.org or call 716-416-2522

“People who need People” is a support group designed for individuals who are new in the recovery process and are asking “what should I do now”?

 

Addict to Addict

A2A Support Group

Hosted by Megan Green

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

RSVP at: gvinson@wnyil.org or call 716-398-3907

A group for peers to help peers through the obstacles of addiction and recovery. This group is a judgment free zone to help one another recover.

 

Peer to peer wellness wisdom

PEER 2 PEER  Wellness Wisdom

Hosted by Johanna Andujar & Cathie Campbell

Wednesdays and Fridays 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.

RSVP at ccampbell@wnyil.org or call 716 328-3640

This is a group that not only offers support, it will assist in the development of coping skills so that we can learn to become more tolerant and resilient. In this time period, where we are facing constant changes daily to our personal and work lives developing tolerance of others and the world, we live in will help us to increase our personal resilience. Becoming resilient will assist us in being able to improve how we respond and deal with these constant changes.  We will focus on developing our own personal WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plans) where we can keep track of what our stressors are and what tools work best for those stressors.

 

Hope for families

Hope for Families

Hosted by Naomi Taylor

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 4:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

RSVP at ntaylor@wnyil.org or call 716-563-0078

While the pandemic is active, families are in their homes without activities to keep their thinking moving towards recovery. The peer support group will provide support similar to the face to face groups to enable family members to voice their concerns and struggles. This is a peer run family support group for family members in a time of crisis.

 

Peer connection

Peer Connection

Hosted by Kelly Hauser

Wednesdays 3:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

RSVP at khauser@wnyil.org or call 716-322-9264

This group is about connecting with fellow peers in a supportive, topic-oriented format that provides peers a safe platform to explore emotion regulation, healthy coping strategies, mindfulness, and self-empowerment for anyone seeking help with a mental health disorder.

Open Mic NIght

Open Mic Night: Freedom of Expression 

Hosted by Lisa María Cruz

Thursdays 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

RSVP at lmcruz@wnyil.org or call 716-208-2590

Do you want to connect with other people and have some fun? Are you sick of being isolated? Are you brimming with ideas on how to express yourself? Are you ready for a creative outlet? If you answered yes to any of these questions then come on in and join our Open Mic Night: Freedom of Expression. People can freely express themselves through spoken word, singing, music, theater, dance and comedy. 

 

An important note about the RSVP process and privacy:

For your privacy

For Your Privacy

To maintain your privacy we do not publicly share the phone numbers and links to our virtual meetings. Please call to RSVP. We will respect people's wishes to remain anonymous.


 

Monthly Support Groups

Bipolar, Depression and Anxiety Support Group

bipolar

Detailed description of the group:  The purpose of this group is to identify and share experiences with peers who also suffer from Bipolar or Anxiety Disorder. The group discusses many coping mechanisms and issues related to having Bipolar Disorder as well as Anxiety.

Department: MHPC

Who is the audience for this group: People with Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety. This is not a support group for family members or friends of people with Bipolar or Anxiety.

Days and times for this group:  Every Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.***Open to Guest and Students the last Monday of the Month 6:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m.***

Address location:  Gloria J. Parks Community Center, 3242 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14214

Facilitator and contact information:  The facilitator’s name is Joseph Sorci, 716-427-4357. To find out more information about this group, call MHPC Director Maura Kelley at 716-836-0822 ext. 162.

De-Clutter Support Group

Break through the clutter

Detailed description of the group: The purpose of this group is to address issues related to cluttering. Topics include recovery from cluttering, learning to set achievable goals to beat the clutter and reduce acquiring.

Department: MHPC

Who is the audience for this group: Adults who feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the idea of getting rid of things that clutter their home.

Days and times for this group: Every Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Address location: WNY Independent Living, Inc., 3108 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214, behind Jim’s Steakout.

Facilitator and contact information: The facilitator’s name is Mary Frances. To find out more information about this group, feel free to contact the Administrative Assistant at 716-836-0822 ext. 170.

Multiple Sclerosis Support Group

National MS Society

Detailed description of the group: The purpose of this group is to offer a safe and welcoming environment to encourage, support and motivate individuals and their loved ones that are affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Who is the audience for this group:  Individuals and their loved ones who are affected by MS.

Open to the Public

Buffalo office location/dates:  WNY Independent Living, Inc. 3108 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14214, Behind Jim’s Steakout. Every 3rd Wednesday of the month, September through June, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Palanker Conference Room. No groups during July and August.

Facilitator and contact information:  The facilitator’s name is Mary Karpinski, from the National MS Society. For more information about this group, call Mary Karpinski directly at 716-338-7208 or 716-323-0554.

Depression Support Group

Depression

Detailed description of the group: The purpose of this group is to address issues of having Depression. Topics include coping skills, self-esteem issues, dealing with life issues and peer counseling.

Department:  MHPC

Who is the audience for this group:  People who suffer from Depression.

Open to the Public

Days and times for this group:  Every Tuesday from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Address location:  Endeavor, 1526 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY 14225                                       (previously called Mid-Erie Counseling & Treatment)

Facilitator and contact information:  The facilitator’s name is Brenda Starks. To find out more information about this group, call Brenda Starks at 716-836-0822, ext. 118.

Social Hour Group

Social hour group

Detailed description of the group: The purpose of this group is to help consumers of WNYIL, Inc. gain communication skills by socializing with other consumers, playing cards and games.

Department:  MHPC

Who is the audience for this group: Consumers of WNYIL, Inc.

Days and times for this group: The 3rd Friday of every month, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Address location: WNY Independent Living, Inc. at 3108 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214; Behind Jim’s Steakout, in the Job Club downstairs.

Facilitator and contact information: The facilitator’s name is Brenda Starks. To find out more information, call Brenda at 716-836-0822 ext. 118.

Anger Management Group

Anger management

Detailed description of the group: The purpose of this group is to help individuals with Anger Issues using different Conflict Resolution Strategies to better manage and resolve conflicts in their lives.

Who is the audience for this group: Consumers of WNYIL, Inc.

Open to the Public

Days and times for this group:  *12 Week Program starts Mondays*

          *Intake for new attendees (never attended before) is at 5:00 p.m.

          *Anger Management Group runs from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Address location: WNY Independent Living of Niagara County. (ILNC),  746 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, NY 14301

Facilitator and contact information: The facilitator’s name is Lauren Ryan. To find out more information about this group, call Lauren Ryan at 716-836-0822 ext. 216, or Mark Shaw at 716-284-4131 ext. 208 to sign up.

PLEASE NOTE: Anger Management has a waiting list. Call regularly for updates. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Addict 2 Addict, Family 2 Family Support Group

Addict 2 Addict, Family 2 Family

ADDICT 2 ADDICT/FAMILY 2 FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP

Detailed Description of the Group: Addict 2 Addict, Family 2 Family are holding Peer Family Support Groups in three locations around Erie County, to introduce the community to its innovative Peer approach. They’re designed to bring awareness, education, and support surrounding addiction to families, friends and significate others who are struggling with a loved one’s Substance Use Disorder (S.U.D.). We are Peers, in long term recovery from S.U.D. All of us have had loved ones in active addiction and most of us have suffered a loss of a loved one to overdose. We share our experience, discuss how to set healthy boundaries, and, most importantly, the importance of self-care. There’s no cost to attend the support groups, all are welcomed. The scheduled Peer Family Support Groups are as follows:

Facilitator and contact information: More information is available from Addict 2 Addict, Family 2 Family by calling Gretchen Vinson 716-836-0822 ext. 135. 

In Niagara County call the Addict 2 Addict 24 hour a day Hotline at 716-398-4333 or their Team Leader Desiree Wloodarek at 716-836-0822 ext. 232, for information on help with addiction and supports they provide.

American Sign Language classes for consumer and the community

Come & learn with us!

Detailed description of the class:  The purpose of this class is to teach and help consumers of WNYIL, Inc. gain communication skills by using Sign Language to socialize with other consumers who are deaf.

Who is the audience for this group: Consumers of WNYIL, Inc.

Days and times for this group: Every Monday from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and every Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Address location: WNY Independent Living of Niagara County (ILNC), on 746 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, NY 14301

Facilitator and contact information: The facilitator for this class will be Jeanette Grimaldi. To find out more information about this group, call Jeanette Grimaldi directly at 716-402-5508 or Niagara Falls Receptionist Roger at 716-284-4131 ext. 200.

Deaf Social Support Group

I'm proud to be deaf

Detailed description of the group:  The purpose of this group is to help consumers of WNYIL, Inc. gain communication skills by using Sign Language to socialize with other consumers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Who is the audience for this group: Consumers of WNYIL, Inc.

Days and times for this group: Group will meet monthly at various restaurants from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. If you’d like to attend, please call Jeanette directly to confirm the exact dates & times.

Address location: WNY Independent Living of Niagara County (ILNC), on 746 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, NY 14301

Facilitator and contact information: The facilitator for this group will be Jeanette Grimaldi. To find out more information about this group, call Jeanette Grimaldi directly at 716-402-5508 or Niagara Falls Receptionist Roger at 716-284-4131 ext. 200.

Laten Deaf Support Group

My eye is me ear. My hand is my mouth.

New Social Support Group is for those who do not use sign language. It is going to be held at Christ Community Church located on 140 Genesee Street in Lockport, NY.  The group is set to occur on the 1st Thursday of every month, from 11:00 a.m. – ?

Jeanette Grimaldi will be the facilitator for this group. If you have any questions about this group or to find out information, contact Jeanette directly by calling her at 716-402-5508, or email grimaldi@wnyil.org or Niagara Falls Receptionist Roger at 716-284-4131 ext. 200.

Benefit Assistance Walk-in

Benefits that matter

Walk-In Information: To obtain further information on the Benefit Assistance Walk-In, please contact Robert Leiter & Jeanette Grimaldi. Either one will discuss and help with SSDI, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. They will also ensure individuals understand how their benefits will be affected by working. It will be conducted the 4th Tuesday of every month, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Niagara Falls Office (ILNC) on 746 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, NY 14301. For more information contact Rob at 716-284-4131 ext. 205, or contact Niagara Falls Receptionist Roger at 716-284-4131 ext. 200.

Independent Living Services Walk-In:

Walk-In Information: The facilitator for the ILS Walk-In is Robert Leiter. He will discuss housing needs, assistance with forms, landlord issues, advocacy among other things. It will be conducted ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­on the 4th Tuesday of every month, at the Niagara Falls Office (ILNC) on 746 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, NY 14301. For more information contact Robert Leiter at 716-284-4131 ext. 205, or the Niagara Falls Receptionist Roger at 716-284-4131 ext. 200.

Wellness for All Group

wellness

Detailed description of the group:  The purpose of this group is to help consumers of WNYIL, Inc. focus on, any issue they have at the time. It will use (WRAP) Wellness Recovery Action Plan work sheets, (PCP) Person Centered Planning work sheets, (ILSA) Independent Living Skills Assessment work sheets and open discussion. With a statement of “Peer to Peer support to help you to identify any issues you may be having in your life, identify coping strategies and helping you to implementing them”.

Department:  MHPC

Who is the audience for this group: Consumers of WNYIL, Inc.

Days and times for this group: The last Tuesday of every month, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Address location: WNY Independent Living, Inc. at 3108 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214; behind Jim’s Steakout, in the Palanker Room.

Facilitator and contact information: The facilitator’s name is Randy Oaks. To find out more information, call Randy at 716-836-0822 ext. 182, or their Administrative Assistant at 716-836-0822 ext. 170.

Additional Support Group Information

you are not alone

NOTE: We no longer offer Support Groups for Anger Management at the WNYIL Buffalo office, only in our WNYIL Niagara Falls office location. We also have a wait list for Anger Management and can’t always get everyone in at once. We sincerely apologize for any Inconveniences this may have caused.

Visit www.eriemha.org and use the ‘Self-Help Group Directory’ for an additional listing of other support groups held within Erie County.

In the last year, we saved N.Y. State taxpayers over $70.5 million by helping individuals leave or avoid institutionalization through practicing the principles of education, empowerment and equality for persons with disabilities.

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