Peer support groups help valley residents cope with recent tragedy
Family Resource Center, Aspen Hope Center, Valley Settlement partner to provide bilingual mental health support
Mental health organizations throughout the valley are offering support to people struggling after the Dec. 30 double homicide in West Glenwood.
In partnership with the Aspen Hope Center and Valley Settlement, of Glenwood Springs, the Family Resource Center is hosting a virtual peer support group 6-7 p.m. Thursdays for parents of students in Roaring Fork School District as well as adults closely related to the victim’s family, said Kelly Medina, the resource center director.
“Rather than a facilitator talking at them, this support group is an opportunity to share in a small group setting,” Medina said.
As a benefit of the partnership, the support group is bilingual, offering services for attendees in both Spanish- and English.
“We want to make sure we’re bringing to light the gap that exists in bilingual support services through the valley,” Medina said. “The goal of the group is to provide people with strategies and coping mechanisms they can use at home and when they are by themselves.”
To help get word out about the support group, several members of the participating organizations visited the West Glenwood neighborhood where a mother allegedly killed her two children in December.
Kenia Tena, a peer support manager for Valley Settlement, said the group knocked on doors and offered to sit with anyone who needed to talk about how they were coping.
“It gives a face to the people providing support,” Tena said, adding the group also handed out wellness bags filled with tea, blankets and candles. “But really, we just listened and let them know what support options were available.”
To register for the peer support group, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-384-9500.
The Family Resource Center’s peer support group is exclusively for adults, but Medina said the group can connect attendees to further resources within the school district.
The Advocate Safehouse Project is hosting a bilingual virtual peer support group for children ages 10-18.
Allie Reyes, a Safehouse Project youth advocate, said the group meets from 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays and is open to children living in the Glenwood Springs area.
“If kiddos prefer to be one on one, I’m also offering one-on-one support, if that feels more comfortable,” Reyes said. “Talking in a group and hearing other people’s stories can be helpful. It can help people work through the grieving process and deal with those emotions like anger and sadness.”
The support group is free and parents can sign up their children by contacting Reyes via email at email@example.com or by phone at 970-355-5434.
Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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