Not everyone is ready for treatment services right away. At Comfort Zone, participants can join a community of peers in a friendly, safe, nonjudgmental space. Our peer staff helps with navigating housing, create a resume or other job-seeking tools, connect to benefits, or just get an ID in order. Or participants can simply join us for activities to build a connection. Comfort Zone is staffed by highly compassionate peer support specialists who have experienced some measure of mental health challenges or trauma in their lives and can relate to individuals on a deeply personal level.
Going back to work can be tough. At NorthStar Clubhouse — an intentional community of people who have experienced mental health challenges — participating members can practice work skills or learn new skills as part of the team that runs the program. As a Clubhouse member, individuals work alongside staff as they explore their talents and pursue their vocational goals. Multiple work units are available, each with multiple activities to choose from. The Clubhouse also gives members a safe place to practice trigger management and socializing in the workplace. When one is ready, we work alongside to find a job, volunteer, or to go back to school.
Self-Directed Services (SDS) offers two peer-run programs that partner with participants on their health and wellness goals: a one-year Wellness Program and a two-year Sustainable Housing Program. Our mission is to assist participants in becoming more self-sufficient and offer hope through peer support. Participants communicate honestly about their personal achievement goals and discuss how to learn and grow through the difficulties and challenges we all face, including exploring options and strategies for creating the best life for themselves in the community. A team helps determine qualifications for either program.
Transitioning to the adult mental health system can be difficult for youth aging out of foster care and the youth mental health system. Ascending Flow helps ease that transition through mentorship and forms of self-expression such as hip-hop, rap, art, and multimedia education. Our program is built on values of social justice, peace, respect, self-worth, community, and having fun. We focus on building skills in photography, graphics and art, storytelling, and music production — or whatever form of artistic expression participants may be interested in. Through this engagement, we cultivate a level of consciousness and empowerment by healing feelings of shame, insecurity, and low self-esteem. We build the bridge to trusting a new system that wants to support participants in living their best life.
Ascending Flow’s peer mentors have lived experience with the foster care system, incarceration, and houseless-ness. This program is available only through a DHS-Child Welfare central referral.
For more information about New Narrative peer programs, please call (503) 726-3690.