Welcome to Pathways Community Center!
Pathways Vermont Community Center provides Peer Support to adults who are seeking community, support, and connection around mental health experiences.
What is Peer Support?
Peer support is an approach to building relationships that are mutual and genuine. Mutual means that something is only working if it’s working for both/all parties. Genuine means that we are going to show up ready to connect on a human-to-human level as a learner and not an expert.
Peer support staff are chosen for their ability to relate and connect with others, in part because of their life experience. They are able to relate to distress, marginalization, and oppression because they have been through it.
Peer Support May Be Helpful If Someone:
- Is looking for connection or to be heard
- Needs more support than they are currently getting
- Isn’t understanding or being understood by other providers and needs a “translator” or mediator
- Has an advocacy need
- Would like to talk to another person who has had a similar experience (it’s possible that no one on our team has had this particular experience, but we try to connect people and find that shared experience)
- Wants to get connected to a community/group/etc.
- Is interested in exploring alternative perspectives to make sense of their experience
- Is feeling traumatized or harmed by treatment/the system
- Is looking for support or information on reducing, changing, or eliminating psychiatric drugs
Pathways Vermont Community Center (PVCC) opened its doors in May 2012 and has been a valued resource for individuals seeking community and alternative resources for mental wellness.
Pathways Vermont Community Center is located at 279 North Winooski Avenue, in Burlington’s Old North End.
ONE ON ONE PEER SUPPORT
*If you are seeking peer support during the coronavirus pandemic please call the Pathways Vermont Support Line at (833) VT – TALKS, 24 hours a day 7 days a week or attend one of our virtual groups listed at the bottom of this page!
Pathways Vermont Community Center is staffed by individuals who identify as having lived experience with issues such as mental health crisis, trauma, substance use and homelessness. Staff are trained to provide what is commonly referred to as “peer support.” Peer Support is a service delivery distinct from traditional mental health services. The peer approach to services encourages individuals to draw from their own lived experience when supporting others. This unique approach to relationships with service recipients has been proven effective in engaging individuals who might otherwise avoid mental health services and at promoting hope, resiliency and well-being.
We are currently offering flexible individual peer support services, meeting one-on-one with folks in person. These meetings are held by Center staff, and can be scheduled around an individual’s needs. If you’re interested in connecting for peer support, contact [email protected], or give us a call 802-777-4633.
COMMUNITY EVENTSThere are currently no upcoming Community Center events scheduled. Please check back soon for updates.
Drop-in Peer Support: Mon-Fri 10am-1pm Pathways Community Center 279 N. Winooski Ave, Burlington
The Community Center is now open every day 10am-1pm offering drop-in peer support with our various staff. Swing by to connect with our staff or other community members.
PVCC Van Trips:
Pathways Community Center has access to a van for going on outings. Please check-in monthly for a new list of trips, or send us your ideas of where you’d like to see us go. Space is limited, please RSVP with interest, and we will try to accommodate as many folks as best we can.
We’ll be sending out a monthly e-newsletter with updates regularly about the community center, including the latest news and events! Reach out to [email protected] with your contact info to be added to our list!
PVCC FACILITATED GROUPS
We offer weekly facilitated Peer Support Zoom Groups through our Center. These groups are open to anyone over 18, and are facilitated by Pathways staff. We are now offering in person, virtual, and hybrid offerings for groups.
As a security measure for first time attendees we ask that you reach out to us directly to express interest in the group – [email protected] or 802-777-4633.
Laughter Yoga Monday 2pm-3pm EST IN PERSON and ZOOM
Laughter Yoga was founded in India in 1995, by Dr. Madan Kataria, M.D., and his wife Madhuri, a yoga teacher. It combines gentle yogic breathing techniques with genuine, spontaneous laughter exercises. Dr. Kataria developed Laughter Yoga inspired by several scientific papers he had read on the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of genuine, spontaneous laughter. Anyone can do this practice; no yoga mat, or special clothing, required. Come as you are for a gentle, fun, easy, restorative session to start your week off feeling good.
Hearing Voices Tuesday 3pm-4pm EST IN PERSON
The Hearing Voices group upholds a fundamental belief that there are many ways to understand the experience of hearing voices and other unusual or extreme experiences. We seek to utilize this alternative approach to coping with emotional distress that is empowering and useful to those with lived experience or mental health challenges and which does not start from the assumption that we have a chronic illness. We are a peer support group which seeks to build mutual understanding about voice hearing and other phenomena which are a common part of having lived experience or mental health challenges. We hope to empower each other through sharing our stories and those strategies and coping skills which have benefited us on our journeys.
Writing Circle Tuesday 4pm-5:30pm EST IN PERSON and ZOOM
The Writing Circle is a facilitated space to write creatively in community with one another. Facilitators choose monthly themes, and folks get time to write and time to share during each meeting.
Anxiety Relief Group Wednesday 4pm-5:30pm EST ZOOM ONLY
Anxiety Relief Group is a safe setting for relaxing and exploring your feelings with others through gentle socialization and self expression. Building up what makes you centered and strong.
Young Adult Peer Support Group Thursday 3pm-4:00pm EST IN PERSON
The Young Adult Peer Support Group is a space for folks 18-34 to connect with one another, play games, plan activities, and be in community during this intentional time.
Mindfulness Meditation Friday 2pm-3:00pm EST IN PERSON
This group is facilitated by our volunteer Jeffrey and offered each week as an intentional space to practice mindfulness and meditation with others. This group meets upstairs in our yoga room and welcomes anyone interested in participating.