In May of 2022, Lorraine and I teamed up with Kim Brown (from the Burn It Down With Kim Brown show) to start a support group for Kim and members of her audience who are disabled.
Kim opened up to me about her experiences with support groups and even professional therapists. They all lacked elements of safety for her, a Black woman.
If you don’t feel safe, you can not share what’s going on. As she was explaining her difficulties, other people chimed in with like experiences. Those groups didn’t even think about Indigenous Peoples nor Brown People.
I felt so moved by Kim’s honesty and everyone’s bravery. So I proposed an idea: “Would we like to try a peer-led support group? We say where we want to go, and we set the pace.”
I made a promise to Kim that, first and foremost, ATF will be a safe space for Black women to participate.
Since our first sesh in May, we have been receiving all kinds of positive feedback! We meet every second Saturday of the month for the Main Group. Caregiver Support is the 3rd Saturday of the month. Additional Support Seshes are the last Sunday of the month.
If you are a person living with disabilities, a caregiver, or a family member of a person with disabilities, we welcome you. (Note – we do not ask for any paperwork here. We don’t care if the government thinks you’re disabled)
If you are curious to learn more about fighting ableism, we welcome you.
🔥 Around The Fire 🔥
We are a peer support group who share our lived experiences around many types of disability. We strive to promote community health and development by connecting people, ideas, and resources.
While here we ask that you remember:
1. We are a multi-generational and very diverse group. Please be brave enough to ask questions if you don’t understand something.
2. Most of us are left of “The Left” on the political spectrum (if you’ve seen Kim’s show, you’d understand. Hence, the images I have chosen for this page). In fact, it’s hard not to be radicalized when you deal with the USA health system and appealing to your insurance regularly. However, this is a group that focuses on people who are disabled and/or are dealing with some health challenges.
This is not a place to plan the revolution. We know one is coming, and we would appreciate people looking for our input – but – until you have trash, water, medications, and food figured out.. please keep the Revolution talk down.
The reason we ask for this is because people have had anxiety attacks when this topic came up. We are a place to talk about doctor visits, diseases and conditions, mental health, health tools, ableism, self- care, psychology, how therapy can suck and how therapy can save a life, and more.
3. We are not qualified to diagnose any condition, nor should we suggest you alter any treatments that a medical doctor or psychiatrist prescribes.
4. Please respect the person who is speaking.
You can use:
— response emojis
— “raise hand” to indicate that you have a comment or response
(If you need any special accommodations, like closed captions, please let us know!)
We usually start with a structured topic for 2 hours, where we can share our stories and the information we’ve learned along the way.
Some people need more time to express themselves.. we are trying to accommodate everyone as much as possible. To this end, we are now offering additional time after the main group, an Encore run by Abby (one of our facilitators).
In an effort to de-stigmatize mental health, we encourage discussion about trauma, but please remember that none of us are professional therapists. We are really good at listening, tho.
Lastly, please ask a fellow member if they would like any direct advice. Sharing your experience is fine, telling another person what they should do is not.
Together, let’s make this a safe space with respect and dignity for all.
Anna, Kim, Lorraine, & Abby
PS – If you are a member (or would like to be), please take a few minutes to fill out this survey
❤️ 🔥 ❤️