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Centerstone offers Parent Support Group in Southern Illinois

Centerstone has created a new parent support group, called Parent Peers Empowering Parents (PPEP), throughout Southern Illinois that will meet regularly throughout the year to provide support, education and inspiration.

“The aim of the group is to empower parents, allow them a place to be heard and provide parent peer support,” said Niki Grajewski, clinical manager at Centerstone.

In December, Centerstone announced it received a $2.1 million, six-year grant from the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) to improve the mental health of children and communities throughout Southern Illinois. PPEP was created as a result of the grant.

“Part of the outcomes for the ILCHF grant asks us to improve parental engagement, decrease caregiver stress and increase peer-provided services in our project area,” said Grajewski. “PPEP will be provided mostly by parent peer supporters, who are parents with lived experience navigating the mental health system. They will aim to support, inform and help parents build their own capacity for supporting their families.”

The first meetings of PPEP are scheduled for the following dates and locations (all will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m.):

  • Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Unity Point School, 4033 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale
  • Tuesday, Feb. 25 at Marion Junior High School, 1609 W. Main, Marion
  • Tuesday, March 10 at Christopher Elementary School, 501 S. Snider, Christopher

“We wanted to provide multiple options in several communities to make it easy for parents to get involved and decrease transportation barriers,” Grajewski said.

All parents in Southern Illinois are welcome. There is no fee to join and no commitment required to participate. Dinner, childcare and activities for children will be provided.

For more information or to RSVP, call Brandy Moore at (618) 457-6703, ext. 7772, or send an email to brandy.moore@centerstone.org.

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