Community work by us, for us. We live in our truth and honor yours by providing free, confidential, and compassionate spaces to process, vent, and grow without limit. 

 

A space where we can make room for our stories and hold each other in the process. A model that removes the boundaries met by finances, insurance, and practitioners that make you feel like “other”. We acknowledged that these services are a necessary human right. 

 

Peer Counseling allows us to bring thought into action: A community based example of how we move and shift away from oppressive structures that have limited our capacities to heal. 

 

All of our counselors were members of the communities they serve, engage in continuous personal education, and accepted that we were both student and teacher simultaneously. 

 

We empowered one another by standing firm in our identities and how they influence our experiences. We shared similar lived experiences with participants and recognized the importance of relatability in work rooted so deeply in our identities

What Is Peer Counseling?

“It is necessary to trust in the oppressed and in their ability to reason. Whoever lacks this trust will fail to initiate (or will abandon) dialogue, reflection, and communication…”

Paulo Preire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed 

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Why This Work?

“self-accountability as a tool to assess whether the choices we make align with the person we want to be in the world and as a process for making change when they don’t”

Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from Transformative Justice, Elisabeth Long, Vent Diagrams Chapter (20)

What can be done in Peer Counseling?: Assessing Self Accountability

Why Peer Support?

We negated the notion that systems that harm us can heal us. By doing community work, by us, for us, we can provide connection, reflection, and validation that can be tools for transformation. 

 

Mental health services have been built on the pillars of Cis-Het White Supremacist notions of Illness rather than seeing the impact systems have had on the individual. Peer Counseling allows us to build community and focus on individual growth away from these pillars.

 

Our ancestors had it right all along: community care, story telling, connection, and holding space can be our source of change, rooted in love. 

 

We can conceptualize a world where we care for one another out of love, personal education, and accountability. Credentials do not bridge this gap. Community can. 

 

The power of recovery and reflection is something we each maintain. We believed in sharing our tools, knowledge, and experiences to aid one another in our journey to healing.

 

What does Peer Support do?

  • Establish connection with community 

  • Tangible services to those with limited access to mental health resources 

  • Reduction of psychiatric incarceration 

  • Community, Not Cops, as a response to Crisis

Infographics 

Queer Mental Health Infographic (1).png

QUEER MENTAL HEALTH

  • 4 x  more likely to attempt suicide

  • 3 x more likely to have a mental health condition 

  • 2 x more likely to have substance abuse disorders

BLACK MENTAL HEALTH

  • Black people are equally likely to report serious psychological distress, yet less likely to get behavioral treatment.

 

  •  18.6% of white Americans received mental health services, compared to less than 9% of African Americans.

 

  • Black people are 20% more likely to be impacted by mental distress than any other racial group

 

  • Black adults affected by poverty are 3 x more likely to experience mental health issues than those of a higher class background

How Does Peer Counseling Work?

How does Peer Counseling work?

We honored your agency and encouraged your right to choose someone who you resonated with. At Fearless Femme 100 you had the option to read about our Peer Counselors politics and frameworks to inform your decision. The power to heal and process should always come with agency. 

 

We provided a one on one space for folks with similar identities. By holding space for one another, we can revitalize and reinvigorate one another to re-envision what a world without carceral responses are while keeping one another safe, healthy, heard, and healing. 

 

We honored and respected your vulnerability to share your stories with us. We abided by confidentiality - meaning what you said to us, stayed with us. 

 

Quotes from Articles on Peer Support:

 Peer Support Values 

  •  Shared Experience

  •  Self-determination

  • Choice

  • Non-hierarchical Decision-Making

  • Mutuality

  • Authenticity

  • Dignity of Risk and Right to Fail*

  • Accountability

  • Direct Communication

  • Critical Learning

  • Relationship Building

  • Social Change

“In order to move from shame toward accountability and healing, we need to believe that safety, connection, and dignity are possible.

Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from Transformative Justice, Nathan Shara, Facing Shame Chapter (21)

What can be done in Peer Counseling?: Assessing Self Accountability

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde 

Peer Counseling: A Space to Reflect

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