Counseling in the Streets
Wellness and Emotional Self-Reliance
At different times we all feel sad or alone. During the Covid-19 pandemic, anxiety and emotional pain have intensified, and the number of individuals who suffer from mental health issues is growing world-wide. Mental health professionals do what they can but there are several difficulties for struggling individuals to get the help they need — a lack of services, costs, and even finding a counselor they trust.
Counseling in the Streets provides a viable, sustainable option that can help those who confront mental health issues, those with family members and friends who struggle, and anyone who would like to become more emotionally self-reliant.
Current research supports the idea that community wellness groups, led by local facilitators yields very positive results. While mental health professionals are doing the best they can, they are limited in numbers. However, by training local individuals in basic counseling techniques, providing them with a wellness program guide, and helping them organize and run community wellness groups, more people can be reached while at the same time developing supportive connections with others in their own communities.
Members of these groups serve as “peer counselors” for each other. While group members reach out to and help those in their community wellness groups, they in-turn help themselves in their own struggles.
With user-friendly, participatory materials, training and consultation, the Counseling in the Streets program empowers local neighborhood-level leaders to become group facilitators and peer counselors. Through this innovative approach, the program enables individuals, families and partner organizations to provide self-directed, interactive and highly-effective therapy and emotional support for anyone who may be experiencing mental health or emotional struggles.
What does the program look like?
The program consists of 15 units. The first three units focus on basic counseling skills — How you feel, listen and speak. The following 12 units each focus on a specific “barrier to wellness” (i.e. depression, anxiety, substance abuse, etc.). Each unit contains a story, illustration, discussion prompts, important concepts, bounce-back strategies, activities, reflections, and plans for the next meeting. Through this group dialogue process, neighborhood groups develop self-help wellness capacity.
Although Interweave Solutions original focus was to create this resource for developing countries, many U.S. mental health professionals are requesting access to Counseling in the Streets to use with their clients. Additionally, we have seen remarkable success in our local community pilot groups in various locations throughout the United States.
As a complement to Interweave Solutions existing literacy and business manuals, this program will certify community level “peer counselors” who will create new or augment existing self-reliance groups with the wellness curriculum.
The wellness program is also a gateway to Interweave Solutions literacy and business self-reliance curriculum and vice versa. Interweave Solutions conversational approach that has been so successful with business startups around the world has given birth to an excellent opportunity for people to continue their conversations regarding emotional literacy.
Feel free to contact Interweave Solutions to learn how you or the organization you represent can initiate your own Counseling in the Streets program.