Specialized Teen Support

✓ Designed specifically for Hampshire County teens of all gender identities who have experienced or witnessed sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, harassment and/or any type of relational abuse.

✓ Also serves friends and family of teen survivors, and can provide medical and legal advocacy services.

✓ Available to consult with schools and youth-serving agencies about teen relational violence.

 

For consultation and to request workshops or support groups:

(413) 545-0883 and press 1

For support, advocacy, and counseling related to interpersonal violence, sexual assault, and stalking:

24/7 Sexual Assault Support & Advocacy Hotline (413) 545-0800

 

You host, we take care of the rest.Online Programming for Teens

As schools and organizations normalize remote services, CWC is proud to offer free digital support groups, workshops, and more. While our groups are for people of all ages, we also offer specialized sessions for interested classes, students, groups, and young people of any gender ages 12-19. Whatever the landscape of fall 2021 instruction looks like be it in-person, remote, or a mix of the two, the stress this pandemic creates for young people is undeniable. Social isolation alone has been shown to negatively impact adolescent brain development, and, without sufficient resiliency factors can lead to mental health issues or exacerbate existing mental illness.

WorkshopsSupport groups

In-Class Workshops & Group Programming

In-class workshops can be offered to many audiences such as a health class, all 9th-grade students, etc. to help equip students with knowledge, tools, and resources they might need to be resilient in the face of adversity.
Group programming can be an opportunity to reach specific populations within the school. We know that certain youth are more susceptible to isolation, bullying, mental illness, and more such as LGBTQIA+ identified youth, youth of color, and immigrants. Group programming can be offered to existing clubs – GSAs, for example – or informal groups of interested students.
 

The One With Healthy Relationships

Session Duration: 1-8 sessions (1-12 hrs) // Can be customized to meet goals
Topics: Identifying abuse; components of healthy relationships; helping friends in abusive relationships
 
This customizable workshop focuses on identifying abusive behaviors in relationships, from dating partners to friends to family members, and learning how to support people through unhealthy or abusive relationships. Additionally, youth discuss what elements of positive and respectful relationships are important to them. Depending on the group, this programming can be tailored to emphasize additional considerations in unhealthy relationships such as implicit or explicit biases, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and/or systemic racism. While these are elements of the programming already, more time and attention can be paid to relevant issues that might disproportionately affect marginalized groups.
 

#yesand: Relationship Building through Improv

Session Duration: 1 – 2 hours // Can be customized to meet goals
Topics: Active listening; relationship building; consent; group support; healthy coping; fun!
 
The social and emotional benefits of play are well documented and have an important role in times of stress. Games and play stimulate the happiness and reward centers of the brain which combats feelings of depression, for example. Additionally, improv theatre is well-known for its governing rule, “yes and” which means that the players in any given game accept the reality that their partner has created – yes – and build upon that reality by adding an element of their own – and. Such radical acceptance can be a positive skill to learn in a world in which individual youth have little agency and can teach young people how to accept a reality they did not create while still finding agency in making the circumstances of their world their own.
 

That’s a Mood: Building Toolkits for Emotional Regulation

Duration: 1-2 hours
Topics: Self-regulation; resource building; self-awareness
 
Students will identify self-regulation tools they already use to combat stress, anxiety, and panic, will have the opportunity to try new tools they might not be aware of, and will have a space to identify a trusted adult and a trusted peer to whom they can go when they are in need of extra support. During the course of the program, students will fill out a pocket-sized “zine” with this information so they can call upon these tools in times of crisis. Panic responses can happen even when there is no perceivable danger present, and students returning to coursework in the middle of a pandemic or students who have unhealthy home lives or who have experienced dating abuse or any number of reasons might get stuck in panic mode and these zines are designed to equip students with reminders of the tools at their disposal when they are feeling overwhelmed, disregulated, or in fight, flight, freeze, or fog mode. Zines provided.
 

Student Leaders in Violence Prevention (SLVP)

Duration: 8 – 14 hours
Topics: Violence prevention; coalition building; trauma-informed principles;
 
Are your students interested in violence prevention and building community? Join CWC staff for a student leadership program to learn about best practices in violence prevention, principles of trauma-informed work, and how to work effectively with others. We will explore ways that individuals and communities can prevent sexual violence through the ecological model – understanding that there are many valid approaches and strategies to end violence. Additionally, students will learn how to help a friend in need. Depending on the duration that works best for your group, students will have a chance to work on projects or campaigns regarding sexual or relationship violence prevention.
 
 

Support Groups

For students in need of support beyond social/emotional education, the CWC can offer an array of support groups for those who identify as survivors of sexual assault or relationship violence. These groups consist of a smaller number of students than might be in a class or school club, are structured around a theme, are responsive to the needs of those participating, and are designed to offer trauma-informed peer and Teen Crisis Intervention Specialist support. It is of paramount importance, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, that youth experience community and have space to understand that they are not alone in their experiences.
 

Keep Going Keep Growing

Duration: 1-5 sessions (1-5 hrs)
Topics: Self-care; growth; resilience; healthy coping; healthy relationship building; self-regulation
 
It can be hard to learn how to care for the self, particularly in the wake of abusive relationships or situations. In this group, youth are given individual pots with mint seeds and, through the course of the group students will spend time caring for their plants and watching them grow all while discussing ways to support themselves and each other in their own growth goals. We chose mint as a plant to grow because of its many regulatory uses! Not only is mint an easy plant to grow so that youth do not need to have had extensive plant-growing experience to succeed, but its strong scent is an oft-used regulation technique in times of panic and heightened stress. Too, it has many uses and can inspire youth to try mint with food or stimulate a desire to nourish themselves and others; loss of appetite is another well-known side effect of depression and anxiety, so encouraging healthy nourishment is an important step for those experiencing gastrointestinal side-effects of adverse experiences. Pots, soil, and seeds included.
 

SASS (Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, & Support)

Duration: 1-5 sessions (1-5 hrs)
Topics: Self-regulation; resource building; self-awareness; safety planning
 
In this group, youth will use sessions to explore different regulation techniques, will learn about what happens in their brains and bodies during panic responses as they explore these techniques, and will encourage and support each other in sharing what works and does not work for them in moments of stress with the goal of
finding community amongst peers and identifying tools they can use to stay emotionally and physically safe. Each participant will be given a pocket-sized “zine” to write down tools and tips they have for themselves. Included in the zine is a place for youth to identify a trusted adult and trusted peer to whom they can go when they need extra support. Zines included.
 

Moving towards healthy dating and relationships

Session Duration: 1-8 sessions (1-12 hrs)
Topics: Identifying abuse; components of healthy relationships; helping friends in abusive relationships
 
For youth who have experienced sexual assault or relationship or domestic violence, learning to recognize abusive relationship patterns is critically important. This support group is designed to meet in multiple sessions, compartmentalizing the guiding Safe Dates & Healthy Relationships curriculum to allow for extra discussion and processing time. This allows students to reflect through the structure of the material on their own experiences. In addition to identifying abusive patterns in relationships, this support group also provides space for students to explore the healthy and respectful dynamics they want to see in their relationships. For those who have not had positive role models for respect and healthy relationships, this group can provide an opportunity for peer support and affirmation as youth learn elements of respectful engagement.