This semester’s experience within the PeerLed Support Group has been truly groundbreaking. Not only have we continued to grow in membership, but we also have increased the frequency of our meetings to twice a week. This has allowed students to both engage more actively with the PLSG community and to have more flexibility when their academic schedules would have otherwise conflicted. Additionally, with the help of our fellow SAPAC volunteers and staff members, we have continued to spread the word of the value of a drop-in, confidential support group as an option for survivor care. For each meeting, we have set out to create a welcoming and compassionate space where members can share both daily victories and struggles while finding community and friendship. Meetings often begin with a chance to share weekly highs and lows, accompanied by an icebreaker question, such as “how would you describe your aesthetic in three words or less” or “what is your prefered mode of transportation?" Depending on the day, we may jump in with an activity or craft, or spend the session in conversation, discussing experiences, feelings, or personal situations. As there is no requirement to speak or to share, our members can participate to the degree that they are comfortable with.
Creating glitter jars has of course remained the favorite activity and tradition among PLSG’s facilitators and members, however, putting together small selfcare “first-aid” kits was a new tradition that we hope to continue in the coming semesters. Typical group meetings have included making friendship bracelets, coloring in a variety of mandalas, coming up with selfcare plans, and other such semistructured activities. In addition, the community of PLSG has extended far beyond our regular meeting times this semester. Members have taken it upon themselves to organize study hours, dinner parties, a Facebook group, and an active group text, helping to mediate the sense of isolation that many survivors may experience. Seeing the group continue to grow and bond in this way has been both inspiring and rewarding. We hope that the group can continue to have such a positive impact in the lives of our members, in the following semester and beyond.
The PLSG Team