In today’s age of information overload, one of the most common things we hear from people when talking about past events and meetings was, “I didn’t hear about it, I would’ve gone!”
Whether or not you have insurance, there are many health benefits to joining free local support groups and taking advantage of health programming.
The Mayo Clinic, for example, recently cited the following benefits:
- Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
- Reducing distress, depression, anxiety or fatigue
- Talking openly and honestly about your feelings
- Improving skills to cope with challenges
- Staying motivated to manage chronic conditions or stick to treatment plans
- Gaining a sense of empowerment, control or hope
- Improving understanding of a disease and your own experience with it
- Getting practical feedback about treatment options
- Learning about health, economic or social resources
There are lots of free health support groups and educational events that you can participate in, right in Kingston! Here are seven organizations that are holding them:
(NOTE: Even if you see an event on an organization’s calendar, please call before attending the first time to confirm that the event is happening and that it is free.)
1. HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley
HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, which is part of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, has a big footprint in Kingston, with two hospitals and a Diabetes Education Center on Albany Avenue.
They have a very active schedule of free healthcare events that you can attend, which are all listed in the Classes and Events section of their website.
Some highlights include the Seniors Health and Wellness Breakfast Club (held at the Hudson Valley Mall every month), a monthly Diabetes Education Seminar, a Multiple Sclerosis Support Group, and an Ostomy Support Group.
2. Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center
The Center is based on Wall Street in Kingston, and lots of invaluable free services that are either directly related to health or adjacent. They have a great calendar of events here.
3. Ulster County Library Association
The Ulster County Library Association counts 21 libraries; in the scope of this article, we have the Town of Esopus Library, The Kingston Library, and the Town of Ulster Library.
All three of them have community calendars that often include free health events and support groups.
Some upcoming examples: Stress Reduction Through Meditation and Yoga at the Library.
4. Healthy Ulster County
Healthy Ulster County is a coalition of community partners led by the Ulster County Department of Health. They have a wealth of free health events and workshops on their calendar that are accessible by people in Kingston.
5. MHA Ulster
The Mental Health Association in Ulster County has been operating as a local advocacy agency for over 50 years. Their calendar is chock-full of free support groups and classes for the community.
Some examples: a weekly coed yoga class, Men’s Anger Management, and interpersonal skill building workshops.
6. Healthcare is a Human Right/RUPCO
Every month, Healthcare is a Human Right runs a free/low-cost alternative modalities clinic at RUPCO’s Lace Mill in Midtown Kingston. It’s on the second Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m.
7. Other Places to Look
- Chronogram events calendar
- Hudson Valley One events calendar
- Kingston Happenings events calendar
- Health Quest event calendar
And finally, if you enjoyed this article and are looking for more ways to get involved in health in the Kingston community, learn more about Live Well Kingston and come to a meeting of one of our five focus groups: Age Well, Eat Well, Travel Well, Play Well or Heal Well!
Each focus group convenes people from all walks of life and organizations, with the shared goal of developing, implementing and supporting policy, systems and environmental change for the topic at hand.