The Hive is buzzing – and growing.

The women’s peer support circle that launched a year ago at 29 East Main Street is now expanding next door to what had been a home and photo studio. A community grand opening is planned for July 17, the same date The Hive opened a year ago.

The Hive’s mission is to support women wherever they are in their journey through life, says owner Heather Boll, whether that’s the stress of managing a household, family or a busy life to something more severe like anxiety, depression, divorce, an eating disorder, addiction, an abusive relationship or suicidal thoughts.

Boll has waded through her own mental health issues, and is now a state certified mental health peer support specialist and nationally recognized speaker. In The Hive, she has assembled is a group of other certified peer providers and wellness specialists, and provided a space for women to gather together, focus on health, wellness and spirituality.

The partnership aspect is a fairly unique concept that is now being adopted by other mental health and wellness providers, Boll notes.

The Hive holds daily and weekly “circles,” or gatherings led by a peer specialist focused on a variety of topics. Membership options allow all levels of care and 24/7 access to wellness amenities along with classes, workshops and group activities.

There are now 67 members taking advantage of Hive offerings and The Hive has served over 500 women in its first year, according to Boll, also young people and a handful of men. Meanwhile, the partnership has grown from six to 13 professionals over the past year. Boll also is connected with other mental health organizations to refer women for additional help and support.

The new location includes more office/meeting space for specialists and clients, plus an upstairs spot for youth. There’s still a stigma among men to seek support for mental health, Boll says, but she hopes in the future to turn a lower level in the new space into a kind of “man cave.”

There’s also 750 square feet of studio space targeted at wellness activities like fitness and yoga. The ceiling includes hangers for aerial yoga and floating meditation using a hammock.

Grief can have a considerable impact on mental health, Boll notes, so the new location also will have a quiet space with water feature for healing and meditation, as well as a backyard retreat area.

Boll calls herself a spiritual person and says it’s no coincidence she ended up in her new space. She worked at the photo studio when she was just 16 and has had her eye on it for years.

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