Women’s Power Story Group Provides Comradery, Comfort

Jazzmyn Gamble
Amirah Lindsay and client

Many North Philadelphians have grown to trust and depend on the Stephen Klein Wellness Center (SKWC) for their healthcare needs. It’s one of the few locations in the city where a person can receive primary care, dental care, and mental health services all under one roof.  

In May 2022 they expanded their behavioral services by starting a weekly women’s support group called Women’s Story Power. Amirah Lindsay, a mental health counselor at SKWC, helped come up with the idea and leads the discussions.  

“We're big on resilience in this group, and a lot of us all have a different story. I think the purpose of it is that the story just needs to be told, instead of just having it swept under the rug or hidden because there's no growth when we do those types of things,” said Amirah.  

Every Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. they open their doors to a group of four to six women with the aim to keep each session small and intimate, so the women feel safe and heard while opening up about their traumas. Amirah adds, “It's a lot of impact, and some people come in on a day where it's really hard for them to share. We want to be able to honor each of their stories and be able to give that direct space for that person.”  

Margaret is a patient at SKWC and a regular in the support group. She struggled with her mental health while she was experiencing homelessness, but always knew she wanted to regain control of her life. “It's hard to take meds while you're on the street,” said Margaret. After finding housing, she was able to prioritize her mental health. "I was taking meds, and I had a place to sleep and shower, I had meals; finally, I could take my mind off the details and focus on the groups and getting better.” Getting the proper treatment plan allowed her to start behavioral health therapy and talk through her traumas with others.  

Margaret quickly found comfort in the group and enjoyed the comradery of her peers. “We usually talk about what's going on in our lives. Sometimes we'll do a worksheet, or we'll just do a check-in. That may take up the full hour and a half. Some people really like the group, and they use it to talk, but I'm pretty quiet. I like to listen. Some people really like to be heard.”  

Ella is another SKWC patient and support group member. Like Margaret, she began coming to the center for her medical needs.  

“I have the medical doctor here, the dentist is here, and I have Brittany, she's the community case worker.” Eventually, Ella joined the women’s group too and loved expressing herself. “We get to share how we're feeling that day or our goals moving forward, and then we write down our thoughts. We laugh basically, just love on each other.”  

Ella finds it therapeutic to connect with women who’ve had similar life experiences and it reminds her that healing doesn't have to be done alone. “Just to hear that whatever you're going through, you're not in it by yourself. You can hear somebody else's story and they may be going through something similar or maybe the same thing. We're releasing it and we trust each other. Then we leave it all on the table at the end of the day.”  

The group also teaches how to navigate their feelings and set healthy boundaries to promote their healing journeys. “We were all experimenting with boundaries, some of it having to do with family, some of it having to do with neighbors,” said Margaret.  

Amirah takes pride in watching each member grow. “I’m happy that I'm able to be a part of a woman's group, I'm happy that I'm able to shed light from myself and have others in the group do the same. We're doing great.”  

Ella encourages other women to seek the help and resources provided at SKWC. “They make each person feel important just like you're supposed to. That's what I like about it here. Everybody listens.” 

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