Hope Heals Family Support Group, Healing Families and in-person SMART Recovery

Independent Perspective 1681 with Alan Tomaski on his three community support groups (Hope Heals Family Support Group, Healing Families and IN-person SMART Recovery)

Host:  Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Alan Tomaski, Rural Recovery Advocate with Mental Health PEER Connection (MHPC). And your host is yours truly Ernie Churchwell. Welcome to the program Alan.

Guest:  Thank you Ernie. How are you doing today?

Host:  Great, glad to have you. We are in the midst of a series of explorations of the different support groups offered by MHPC. And you have the distinction of facilitating not one but three community in person support groups. Wondering if you could name each one, tell us whom they serve, where they take place and whether pre-registration is required. Okay, your turn at the mic.

Guest:  Yes sir, Ernie, thank you. I facilitate three groups in the community. All three groups are actually in person. So, you do not have to pre-register for the group, they're open for the public. You don't have to be an actual member or consumer. They're open to anybody. The first group it's Hope Heals Family Support Group, it’s in Hamburg at Sparks of Hope, 107 Main Street, Hamburg, New York. It's every Tuesday 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. This specifically deals with individual family members who are dealing with a loved one who had gone through substance use disorder or any type of mental health issues. The other next group is Healing Families. This is every other Friday and it is from 1:00 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Rural Outreach Center at 730 Olean Road in East Aurora. That is a family support group or for an individual for individuals with SUD and this offers support and resource to individuals in a rural community who might need linkages to support groups, or resources, inpatient, outpatient, anything that they may need, we can do that and also do a recovery coaching.

Host:  Alan, before we go too far, chances are your intended audience will know what you're talking about. But for the uninitiated, what is SUD?

Guest:  SUD, I'm sorry, is Substance Use Disorder. So anytime I say I'll say SUD and that is all encompassing. So, it could be for opioids, alcohol use disorder, anything, the SUD term is the umbrella that covers all the addictions. It's just a newer language that we're going into now to get away from the stigmatized language of using things like addict or more demeaning terms like junkie and things like that with an individual with SUD, right, or into recovery. So, we're trying to go along this route, which brings me to the perfect setup for the last one, which is this one just started. It is an in person Smart Recovery. So Smart Recovery is all evidence-based, science backed, it is non secular, and is actually going to be as a first time that Revive Wesleyan is offering a secular group. Normally all their groups there are faith based. So, this is every Thursday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. But we are there half hour before and a half hour after so total from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. and this is at the Revive Wesleyan of Hamburg, at 4999 McKinley Parkway in Hamburg, New York. We specifically go over evidence-based techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, you know different ways to look at behaviors and to try to change the behaviors and thought patterns to better you know, enhance our recovery. So that is the general gist of that meeting and they all are in person and not need to pre-register for any.

Host:  But following the state mandates for community meetings face coverings are expected I believe.

Guest:  Face coverings are expected, and we will do, there will a prescreening process also that will be done at first entrance of the meeting.

Host:  Our time was about up, if people have questions how can they reach you?

Guest:  Sure, they could call me at 716-931-0380 and that is my personal cell.

Host:  Great. Thanks so much for being with us, Alan, and you have a great week.

Guest:  Thank you so much Ernie.

Host:   You’ve been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today was Alan Tomaski, Rural Recovery Advocate with MHPC and your host was yours truly, Ernie Churchwell.