Teens & Young Adults

If you are a teen or young adult interested in AIRY, you probably have some questions. Here is some info.

What is AIRY?

It’s a program with peer support, the expressive arts and coping skills for young people who feel suicidal, once in a while, often or all the time. AIRY stands for Arts in Recovery for Youth.

When and where does AIRY meet?

AIRY meets in a private art studio that is part of an artist collective of 20 working artists called NUarts. The entrance is at 21 Union St in downtown Pittsfield, across from Barrington Stage Company. AIRY meets after school in the evening. For group days and times see our Group Calendar in the menu.

Who goes to AIRY?

Humans of all kinds. AIRY is a judgement free zone – no matter who you are, what you are going through, or where you have been.

Who runs AIRY?

An art therapist who has dealt with feeling suicidal herself. She knows alot about suicide prevention and has creative ideas to help. AIRY also has art interns that assist.

What are the ages?

There is a teen group, ages 13-17 and a young adult group, ages 18-26.

What do you do in AIRY?

First we check in about suicidal thoughts and feelings. Then we learn a coping skill. We talk, problem solve, make all different kinds of art and encourage each other.

What kinds of art do you make in AIRY?

AIRY is proud to offer a variety of expressive arts and is always open to new ideas. We paint, make collage, sculpt clay, build 3D objects, draw graffiti, animae, comic book or video game characters, knit, weave fabric, write poetry, songs, listen to and make music, watch movies, choreograph dance, shoot films and create digital stories.

Is it true you have events like art shows and poetry slams as part of AIRY? 

Yes. Check out our Events page and our Trending page in the menu!

What if I’m not good at art?

AIRY is NOT art class. AIRY is based on creative arts therapy.  It is about self expression, imagination, being spontaneous, letting out emotions and having fun. No experience with art is necessary and no art project is too weird or out of the box. AIRY welcomes creative expressions of all kinds.

What if I don’t like it?

AIRY is not mandatory and everyone who comes wants to be here. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to stay. We suggest trying it out for at least two sessions before you decide.

What if I’m nervous or have social anxiety?

Everyone is nervous the first day. Everyone feels a little awkward when they first meet.  That’s natural. We do some fun icebreakers or play a game to ease the tension. And usually, once we make art, we relax.

Is AIRY confidential?

Yes. Everything you share in AIRY is confidential. The only exception is if a person is unable to stay safe, the AIRY Facilitator needs to let others know, to keep you safe.

What will you do if I tell you I am feeling suicidal?

If you feel suicidal, the first thing we will do is talk about it. I’ll ask questions to better understand. Then we will talk about safety and make a plan to keep you safe, and also a follow up plan to check in. If you are under 18, this will involve a parent or guardian. If you are an adult, this will involve at least one other adult of your choosing. The goal of AIRY is to learn how to stay safe and manage thoughts and feelings without hurting yourself.

Will you send me to the hospital?

No. If you are unable to stay safe, we will talk with parents, therapists, crisis or other supports to make a plan for your safety. You and your supports will make a plan and choose if the hospital is the best option.

How do I know if this program will work? 

100% of AIRY participants report feeling better after doing this program. Some still have suicidal thoughts but they have learned how to handle them better. They can stay safe and enjoy life.  They have more support and new friends, the kind of friends that understand what you are going through, listen, care and don’t judge. Most people do recover if they are willing to show up, be honest, and help each other.

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Ok I’m interested. What do I do? 

Contact me or have a parent or therapist contact me. Call or text 631-697-8291. Leave a message. Or send an email to airyberkshires@gmail.com.

What happens next?

We will make an individual appointment for you to come see the art studio and fill out paperwork. Then you can start the group.