Meetup.com is a popular website that supports people in their local communities to find people with whom to enjoy similar interests. My Peer Consumers to whom I provide services, like me, yearn to socialize in their communities outside the mental health system. As a working Peer, I’m grateful to be encouraged by WILC to support my Peer Consumers to develop their social communities using https://www.meetup.com/.
WILC currently has a Meetup.com Organizer Membership. We have sponsored 12 groups. We are currently sponsoring 3 Consumers to create and facilitate their own groups. These groups can: 1. Be about anything; 2. Take place at the time, place, and with whom they choose; 3. Meet every day, every week, every month, etc. Since these groups started during the COVID Pandemic, they are taking place online.
Our Consumers are grateful because they’ve met people from New York City and Upstate as well as people from all over the U.S. and even around the world because their groups are online. Also, a good amount of people who are joining the groups are not recipients of mental health services, especially those delivered by non-profits and government-run mental health system; as a result, our Consumers are truly integrating themselves into their communities as a whole, not just “ill and disabled” people.
I’ve been supporting my Peer Consumers to brainstorm for and create the groups, set up the meetup.com pages, market their groups using social media and offering continued mutual peer support practice to maintain the groups. What’s more, I’ve encouraged and supported them to open their own social video app accounts so they can truly hold their groups when they want without my needing to use WILC’s Zoom account.
The three groups we’re currently supporting are:
The Talent Express
Getting Better and Getting Out
- Chronic Healing for Self-Care Motivation
This is the link to WILC’s meetup.com page where you can find information about and join the groups we sponsor and that are open to the public: https://www.meetup.com/members/305560905/
For more information about the Meetup.com Project please contact me (Jeff) using the contact information below. You may also click this link to read a more in-depth article about this project: Meetup.com Project 12.21.docx (sharepoint.com)
Jeffrey Zitofsky, CWIP
Peer Independent Living Advocate – Mental Health Specialist
Westchester Independent Living Center
10 County Center Road 2nd floor
White Plains, NY 10607
(914) 682-3926 x 2123 (Voice)
(914) 259-8036 (VP/TTY)