Everybody Needs Support
No matter who we are or where we come from, we all face challenges. Research shows that the single most important factor which determines physical and emotional health, as well as success, is social support. We KNOW that everyone thrives in a community of support, especially when times are tough. Isolation and lack of support make all feelings and experiences harder to bear. Even positive changes such as marriage or welcoming a new baby can be disruptive and challenging. Research also shows that children’s health and mental health is impacted by parent’s emotional health. So, having a strong social support system is not only helpful, it’s essential to us and our families.
About the GPS Group Peer Support approach
The GPS Group Peer Support approach is a trauma-responsive support group model based on evidence-informed modalities that has been replicated in diverse communities nationally. GPS is:
1. Evidence-informed & Strength-based
GPS for Parents is an accessible, replicable and adaptable evidence-informed group model that draws on a variety of successful and evidence-based therapeutic and support group modalities including Cognitive Behavioral and Interpersonal Therapies, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, Motivational Interviewing and Psycho-social Education for greatest outcomes for parents. GPS is a strength-based group model informed by the knowledge that group treatment is an effective modality in overcoming barriers to care such as stigma, shame, and isolation, as well as addressing issues of inadequate population-specific community-based mental health resources. GPS is working in collaboration with Dr. Peggy O’Neill at the Smith College School of Social Work in establishing an evidence-base. Early indications show that GPS Support Groups significantly impact maternal depression scores and increase social support. Publication of research is pending.
GPS is grounded in a strong trauma-informed methodology which is incorporated into each aspect of the group rationale and implementation, from preparation to closing. There is a strong emphasis on cultural competency and Intersectionality of poverty, race, gender and cultural messaging and a specialized focus on at-risk populations including teen parents, parents with substance use disorder and/or in recovery, and parents engaged with child protective services.
3. Replicable with diverse populations
GPS provides the map for rapid implementation and employs best practices in a replicable way that both seasoned professionals and peer leaders can use and adapt with success. GPS has been successfully utilized and adapted to serve a diversity of populations, including teen mothers, perinatal mothers with substance use disorders, incarcerated mothers, mothers at risk for perinatal emotional complications, and in coordination with other evidence-based and mandated programming and curriculums.