Peer Hub

A Short-Term Home Where People in Crisis Can Avoid the Hospital

Nothing about the brown clapboard house a few blocks off Main Street in Cartersville, Georgia, suggests it’s anything out of the ordinary. There’s no sign, or bustle of people – just an American flag hanging from a post and boxes of white petunias on the front porch. The unassuming house is actually the Bartow County Peer Support, Wellness and Respite Center, a place where people on the edge of despair or emotional crisis can stay for up to a week in a supportive atmosphere. When I visited in July, guest Karen Taylor, 49, had just gotten back from a quick…

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A Vietnamese Therapist, Himself a Refugee, Draws on his Experience to Assist Afghan Newcomers

As Paul Hoang watched the televised scenes of panic and chaos unfold at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan in August, memories flooded back to him. He remembered the stories of beatings endured by his father, who fought with the defeated South Vietnamese Army, his family’s perilous escape by boat in 1987 when he was 7, and his own years of mental suffering and suicide attempts as a refugee growing up in Orange County, California.  Another feeling also emerged: the resolve to take those experiences with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and his skills as a social worker, and put them…

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Full of Mad Black Pride, She Tells Her Story and Helps Others Tell Theirs

Kelechi Ubozoh spent her childhood straddling two different worlds. She spent summers with her Nigerian father in New York, where she was born, and the rest of the year in suburban Atlanta, where her African American mother worked as a doctor. In Georgia, “I just didn’t fit in,” she says. “I was a Black Goth in Stone Mountain, Georgia.” (Which also happens to be a birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan.) Feeling split and out of place became a regular feeling. By 13, she was contemplating suicide, and for the next decade, she struggled on and off with depression. What…

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