HEY (Health and Education for Youth) Support Group
HEY Support Group is a community of youths who have HIV. Started in 1997, this group provides young people with an environment where they can listen to others' and share their own experiences about life with HIV.
Learning that one has been infected with HIV can add an enormous amount of pressure and worry to the already difficult life of a young person. The regular day-to-day concerns are compounded by more complicated questions: What is the possibility of leading a normal life? Can I remain healthy and active? Why do I need to be on constant medication? How will this medication affect me? Although the support of family and friends is essential for the health and happiness of someone infected, it is also important for the individual to meet and talk with others who are dealing firsthand with the virus.
HEY Support Group is a psychosocial group that meets once a week. Those who attend the meetings are asked to listen and if they would like, to talk about their lives with HIV. By sharing their experiences, these youth come to understand that they do indeed create a community who share a deep bond, a bond that arises from their common struggle of living with HIV and that moves towards a more aware life that demands strength and hope.
HEY's weekly meetings are led by trained facilitators. These men and women encourage the youth to strive towards particular goals: to share each other's experiences, to build a community, and to educate those who have HIV about HIV. Oftentimes, the youth participants enjoy setting the night's agenda or planning upcoming events. The sessions occasionally include therapeutic activities as well. Food and transportation are provided.
Who Can Join: Anyone between the ages of 13-24 years old who is infected with HIV.
When: Every Thursday from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
Where to Go: Meetings are held at 4570 Children's Place (at St. Louis Children's Hospital) on the lower level.
Participants of HEY Support Group also enjoy getting together for social outings like holiday celebrations, excursions to Six Flags, and various other trips to local spots of interest. Camp Hope is weekend long camp for HIV positive and HIV affected families that occurs every August.
HEY Support Group has a lending library where members can pick up literature and information about HIV. This library is located at HEY's main office at 4169 Laclede Street near Forest Park.
Please call before attending any meeting and before visiting our office. You can reach Dana Bowens at 314.747.1022.
HEY Support Group is sponsored by Project ARK (AIDS/HIV Resources for Kids), an organization working in the St. Louis metropolitan area to provide comprehensive health care and support services for HIV-infected women, adolescents, children and their families. For more information about Project ARK, please call 314.535.7275.