Special Messages is a safe space (currently virtual) where people can share about their experiences receiving messages, and learn more about their unique gifts.
Special Messages is an interactive self-stigma-elimination campaign led by individuals who hear voices or have other extraordinary experiences and are dedicated to eliminating the stigma associated with mental health conditions. Through community education and interaction, Special Messages addresses the mental health concerns so many of us experience but don’t talk about.
Special Messages DOES:
- Strive to create space for participants to explore a variety of supportive options to discover what’s right for them
- Give participants tools to think and talk about their experiences in new ways
- Acknowledge the relevance of the content of special messages for the message receiver
- Accept everyone where they are right now
Special Messages DOES NOT:
- Recommend any particular type of therapy or medication
- Enforce one particular way of understanding their experiences
- Assume that experiences of psychosis are disconnected from the rest of participants’ lives or identities
- Require participants to change before engaging with the group
History of Special Messages Project
Phase I – Training: The training phase includes twelve sessions of innovative curriculum designed to reduce “message” crisis and more clearly communicate shared experiences to influence wellness. In phase I, the team began the transformation from someone who receives services to someone who is a peer service provider. Each person learned how to use their personal experiences and support the wellness of peers by identifying trauma and negative thoughts, and increasing self-acceptance and wellness.
Phase II – Outreach: An extensive outreach campaign was designed to introduce the project to service providers, supporters, and isolated individuals. During this phase, the peer service providers began to build trust, effectively communicate and educate the public about the project.
Phase III – Fieldwork: Fieldwork is an extension and more personalized approach to the outreach efforts to create a foundation for the peer to peer work. During this phase the peer service providers shared their personal stories, handed out business cards and fliers, and became a consistent presence to stimulate safety and trust in the community.
Phase IV – Peer-to-Peer: Peer-to-peer work includes peer support groups and one-on-one relationships with individuals. During this phase collaborative relationships as a peer service provider team with service agencies/supporters to implement and provide individual/group peer-to-peer support services.
What we offer:
• Community building
• Stigma reduction presentations in the community
• Support Group
In this time of social distancing, let’s practice social connection. Join us for weekly virtual Special Messages support discussions, available online and by phone Fridays 12 – 1:30 pm
Sign Up to Join a Call: Click Here
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
Does someone need to have a formal diagnosis to hear voices? No.