Monday, November 1, 2021

After The SoS: Other Mental Health Support Groups

It was over a week ago in which the head of the Survivors of Suicide, the best-known depression support group in Second Life, announced it's closing. The natural reaction of some was worry, wondering where else they could go. So the SoS staff provided a list of other groups.

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As you search for new groups and spaces to get support with your mental health, please be mindful that SL is NOT an appropriate medium to offer or receive therapy, counseling, or medical advice, and that anyone offering these services should be avoided at all costs. No matter what they may tell you, you have no way of verifying their credentials, nor is there any licensing authority that would permit them to offer those services through a platform like Second Life.  

Only relevant groups with a proven track record, or new groups that are run by people with a proven track record have been included. (Listed alphabetically)

Fearless Nation - A 501c3 nonprofit providing PTSD education and support to SL residents since 2009.

"Founded in 2009, Fearless Nation PTSD Support is a 501c3 and 509(a)(1) and (2) organization as determined by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), meaning that we are a publicly supported charity (not a “private foundation”) and an exempt-purpose, activity-supported charity."

Let's Talk - A mental health peer support group with great listeners and frequent support group meetings. Established in 2018.

"Hello. At *Let's Talk* the volunteers offer a little time to listen to anyone who feels they would like to talk to someone about a problem - large or small.  We do not try to fix you, we are not therapists, we are simply a group of people who have our own life experiences and understand that at times life can be very difficult.  We can listen to you only as a friend would, try to encourage you or look at things from a new perspective. We can also learn from you as everyone's feelings or problems are unique."

Impact Mental Health - A brand new mental health peer support organization run by former SOS staff, providing a safe space where people can get support from other people with similar experiences.

"Impact Mental Health is a peer support organization with a heavy focus on mental health. We provide a safe space, free of judgment or stigma where people can get support from other people with similar experiences.

"We are inclusive and open to all. We do not tolerate discrimination and we actively defy stigma.

"We are not doctors, therapists or counselors - nor do we pretend to be.

"Mental health therapy can be an important factor in recovery for many people and we fully encourage anyone who needs therapy to speak to their RL doctor or mental health team, but we do not offer therapy at Impact. We recommend you don't use any other "therapy services" in second life either as you have no way of verifying if the people offering it are legitimate. "

Virtual Ability - A support community for people with disabilities. Though not specifically geared towards mental health, they provide excellent support for people with a wide range of disabilities, including mental health disabilities.

"Virtual Ability has been building communities of support for people with disabilities in virtual worlds since 2007. About three-quarters of our group members have one or more kinds of disability (physical, mental, emotional, developmental or sensory) or chronic illness; the rest are family members, caregivers, professionals, researchers, students, and others interested in disability issues.

For anyone not yet a member of the Virtual Ability group, we invite you to take a look at upcoming events scheduled on our Community events calendar. The calendar is posted inworld near the Cabana Classrooms on Virtual Ability island."

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The Newser covered the opening of Impact Mental Health last week, and has written about Fearless Nation and Virtual Ability in the past. We may cover the others in the future.

Bixyl Shuftan

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