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Independent Living to host mental health self-help groups in Carthage

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CARTHAGE — The Northern Regional Center for Independent Living is branching out to offer mental health self-help discussion groups at Carthage Behavioral Health, 3 Bridge St.

Michelle A. Hobart, co-facilitator of the groups, said this is the first time NRCIL has offered the series outside of Watertown.

“We had a lot of interest in support groups in Carthage,” she said. “From these, hopefully we’ll find someone to facilitate groups.”

Typically, she said, people who have come to the series in Watertown have been from the Watertown area. Transportation issues often have prevented people from outside of Watertown getting to those groups. With NRCIL offices now in three locations in Lewis County, Mrs. Hobart said, Carthage, which borders Jefferson and Lewis counties, was a good location to offer services.

Each group will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays, from July 17 to Aug. 28 in Carthage Behavioral Health’s conference room. Topics include building self-esteem, making and keeping friends, dealing with the effects of trauma, wellness recovery action plan parts one and two, advanced directives and employment.

“Trainings are very laid back and relaxed,” Mrs. Hobart said. “We talk about topics, guides, our experiences and the conversation opens up. You learn from people who attend the group. Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them.”

Mrs. Hobart, mental health advocate at NRCIL, said since light refreshments will be provided, people are asked to pre-register for each group by calling her at 785-8703. Seating is limited to 25 participants, but if more people show an interest, NRCIL would run another series, she said.

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