Immigrants Rising’s Wellness Support Groups help undocumented young people stay grounded and connected to community.

Graphic for Wellness Support Groups

These 6-week Wellness Support Groups led by trained mental health providers or registered clinicians, are designed to help undocumented people feel less alone and more understood. The weekly virtual sessions are closed; meaning that advance registration is required, with the goal of creating a confidential space where 10-12 participants can feel grounded, find community, and share their unique experiences, challenges, and successes with one another. Note: though participation can be therapeutic, the groups are not a form of therapy.

Upcoming Support Groups

April 2021 API Support Group

API Support Group

This group is designed to support anyone who identifies as API. We will discuss issues the API population faces, especially the current social and political climate. Topics include but are not limited to: discrimination and violence against API; COVID-19 and its effects on our community; model minority myths; the concept of family; feeling of guilt; interdependency; Tiger mom attitude; culturally specific communication styles; generational gaps; and assimilation into mainstream culture.

About the Facilitator

Akiko was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Her first career was as a dancer and then she worked in the entertainment industry. Akiko moved to London to become a dance movement psychotherapist, and later obtained her doctorate in Educational Psychology at the University of Hawaii. She completed the clinical psychology postdoctoral respecialization program at California Professional School of Psychology/Alliant International University and is now a licensed psychologist in California. Akiko has worked at mental health clinics and hospitals in Tokyo and London, schools in London and San Francisco, and community mental health programs in San Francisco. She currently works in private practice located in San Francisco’s Japantown. She is a former president of the San Francisco Psychological Association.

Schedule & Info

Dates: 6 consecutive Tuesdays beginning on May 4, 2021
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. PT / 9:30 – 11:00 p.m. ET


April 2021 Chair Yoga and Meditation Support Group

Chair Yoga/Meditation Support Group

Chair yoga is a gentle practice that allows for poses to be performed while seated and/or with the aid of a chair. Yoga helps with increased flexibility, strength, and bodily awareness. Yoga also helps with managing anxiety, stress, and depression.

What to expect:

  • Gentle movements and postures.
  • Coordination of breath and movement.
  • Introduction to meditation.

How to prepare:

  • Dress comfortably.
  • Have a chair nearby, if possible. Alternatively, you can sit on a yoga mat (actual yoga mat, towel, blanket, grass, floor, etc.).
  • Whatever you need nearby: water, tea, candle, crystals, anything!
About the Facilitator

Ariana (they/them/their) identifies as a queer, nonbinary, child of immigrant parents de Jalisco y Tijuana. Ariana is first generation, bilingüe, y was raised in the emotional and physical borderlands of Mexicanidad y los Estados Unidos. In 2019, Ariana became a certified yoga instructor and founded POC meets Rainbow, a movement that centers the wellbeing of QT/BIPOCs in the yoga and meditation wellness world. They also hold a master’s degree in Couple and Family Therapy from Alliant International University, California School of Professional Psychology, including certification in LGBT Human Services and Mental Health. Ariana is a psychotherapist in California.

#LMFT110793 | | @poc_meets_rainbow

Schedule & Info

Dates: 6 consecutive Thursdays beginning on April 29, 2021
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET


May 2021 Undocuwomen Support Group

Undocuwomen Support Group

The support of sisters is unique and nourishing. This group is open to all undocuwomen seeking a space for sharing and connection in times of uncertainty. Exploring an intersectional identity can lead us to learn new coping skills and strategies from one another as we examine the impact of our multiple identities. The themes we’ll explore in this group will be determined by the first session—because you know your support needs best. We will come as we are, share what we know, and celebrate one another’s successes.

About the Facilitator

Virginia Garcia, a Licensed Professional Counselor – Associate, is the daughter of a Bracero father and an activist mother, both Mexican immigrants in the Midwest. She is currently a doctoral student in Counselor Education and Supervision at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio while living, working, and loving in the borderlands of Laredo, Texas. While Virginia has worn many career hats, she’s focused on uplifting immigrant populations via activist groups such as the Laredo Immigrant Alliance and the No Border Wall Coalition, among others. She is currently a counselor-associate for Usawa Services and embarking on a new venture with Solsana Wellness. She lives in a creaky historic home with her partner and way too many pets.

Schedule & Info

Dates: 6 consecutive Thursdays beginning on May 13, 2021
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. PT / 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET


Interested in facilitating a support group?

Please contact our Mental Health Team at for more information.

Past Support Groups

Foundations of WellBEing facilitated by Bianca L. Rodriguez, MA, Ed.M, LMFT

Foundations of WellBEing facilitated by Bianca L. Rodriguez, MA, Ed.M, LMFT
Foundations of WellBEing is a 6-week course that will provide participants with an understanding of how personal transformation works and how to navigate it gracefully. Part of the process includes learning to regulate your emotions, build self-love/esteem, listen to your intuition, and surrender to the flow of the Universe. Participants will gain actionable steps to immediately begin using in real world scenarios to see results, including increased happiness, clarity, and meaning.
Redefining Rest in the Latinx Community facilitated by Dr. Susana Marquez

Redefining Rest in the Latinx Community facilitated by Dr. Susana Marquez
The goal of this group is to teach participants the importance of resting to better their mental and emotional health. We will explore the negative connotations placed on “rest” by our community or family members, as well as the deeply rooted emphasis on “work and grind.” Participants will identify healthy ways of resting and creating a healthy balance between work and rest. They will learn how to effectively communicate the need to rest to family members, and how to set boundaries around it.
UndocuAPI Support Group facilitated by Lina Hannigan, Ph.D.

UndocuAPI Support Group facilitated by Lina Hannigan, Ph.D.
There are 1.7 million undocumented Asian and Pacific Islander (API) immigrants in the U.S., with the vast majority living in California. However, the phrase “undocumented immigrant” often evokes imagery and services intended specifically for the Latinx community. As a result, the diverse needs and identities of the API community are commonly overlooked. This group is a place for API individuals to come together to hear and be heard, sharing stories that express each person’s unique experience and culture. Through thoughtful questions and prompts, we will build the strength of community that comes from recognizing common values, empathizing with familiar pressures, and finding comfort in our shared humanity.