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Errol, Volunteer Mentor
@duvie

Posts: 83
Joined: Nov 18, 2012

Sharing Your Favorite Support Network

Posted by @duvie, Sun, Apr 8 3:48am

Hello Everyone,
When your out & about possibly sitting in a hospital waiting room, "Do you ever get the urge to possibly help another person also waiting by sharing your favorite group or network of support groups?" Maybe they're like you were before you found your favorite support group/groups.True not everyone wants or feels like they or their family member needs a support group.

However, I find it hard especially when I know I'm around other patients or their family members not to ask them if they have heard of specific free online support group or if I'm sitting in a hospital waiting room, then I mention a network of groups. Sometimes I get lucky and find someone who is willing to listen for awhile or may even write the information down. I generally ask them to at least check it out and if they decide they don't like, then that's fine.

Would you be willing to share with strangers your favorite support group or network of groups?
If their diagnosis is different, would you help them search through your list of groups to find one that fits their needs?
Any suggestions on how to get others to do the same?

Lilbit thinks I run my mouth TOO much when it comes to sharing information about support groups, lol, and maybe I do!!!

Together, We Can
Errol

REPLY

Hello Everyone,
I'm currently spending the night along side Lilbit in ICU sharing MayI,o Connect with her nurse as she comes in and out. She seems very pleased and surprised that a hospital would offer such a fabulous network of groups.

Together, We Can
ErrolI

This is a great discussion to start, Erroll. Others have told me stories about telling people about their favorite support groups while connecting with patients in waiting rooms. I suspect that's what @cynaburst is doing this week while back at Mayo for a check-up. @johnbishop @IndianaScott @rosemarya @windwalker @predictable and @hopeful33250 have some fun and clever ways of telling people about the support groups and associations that have been great resources for them. I hope they'll share them and others will share their stories too.

@duvie Hello Errol

I am sorry to hear that you were spending the night in ICU. I hope that Lilbit is doing better this evening. Yes, Colleen is right. A few of us talk-up Mayo Connect on a regular basis. I started by using a Mayo Clinic water bottle and bringing that with me wherever I go. Since I live in SE Michigan people would question me as to why I would have that since Mayo is not anywhere near me. So then I go into my story about my volunteer as a mentor for Mayo Connect and talk about all the discussion groups, etc. and then pull out of my purse a Mayo Connect information card (Colleen has tons of them if you would like 100 or so). That brings up some very interesting discussions!

Wishing you and Lilbit well!

Teresa

Hello Erroll @duvie, thanks for starting this discussion. It's not always easy to start a conversation but sometimes you just have to take a chance and do it. The person you are thinking about talking to may just be wishing someone would talk to them. I've always been kind of an introvert. Toastmasters helped me quite a bit and it's not just about speaking, it's also about being a better listener. I've taken the opportunity to talk about my favorite support group ☺ most recently at my last doctors appointment. I took a couple of Connect cards and gave one to the nurse who took my BP before the doctor came in and then dropped one on him while chatting. Neither had heard about Connect. I've also talked about Connect at work with friends when they mentioned someone they know is going through a health problem. It's one of those have I got a deal for you moments – an opportunity to provide someone a connection to find help. Sometimes it's as easy as seeing someone sitting near you that looks uncomfortable or hurting and just going up to them and taking a chance – Pardon me but I'm going to get a cup of coffee and all by myself and I see you are alone, would you like to join me? Or say whatever you think might strike up a conversation. The worse that can happen is they will say no and if they say sure, you are off to the races so to speak.

John

Hi there ….. well, as my father used to say ….. "I think you were vaccinated with a victrola needle." (victrola needle for those younger are what was placed on a "record" also probably a new word for you, to dip into the dents of a flat plastic disc, and you would hear music. I've always liked to talk. Somehow, I just go by my gut …. if I sense a person is struggling with something of which I could be of help, I will tell them about "the group" … gently, and compassionately ….. no words like "you should" or "you must." Often if we tell others our own story, to the degree we are comfortable and it's appropriate, it helps them to feel less "weird." It often times feels good to know that there are others out there wrestling with the same situation. You are not alone. Many people who look "put together" are hurting inside.
abby

@duvie I have participated, led and chaperoned many different types of "help" groups during my short lifetime. I will provide a list and am open to contact about any of them: Walther League, FHA, cheerleading, church and high Church Youth Group Director, Al-Anon Family Groups, Mothers Of PreschoolerS Organizer and Spiritual Leader, Battered Women's Group, Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center Advocate, Legal Assistant's Association, Bar-B-Que Fundraiser Coordinator, Bible Study Groups, and Retreat Coordinator. I may have forgotten some, but that should get us started and give you ideas of what kinds of free groups may be available in your communities. Since a number of these groups are confidental, I do not generally bring up the topic unless someone else brings it up first. Then I usually share about groups I am aware of to the general public and give details privately if I sense a need or desire for more information. I have used the Transplant Houses in Rochester, MN often in the last 7 years and am continually surprised at how many people want to talk about their situations and ask questions about mine.

Today I stopped in at the AAA office to pick up some travel maps/information for Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota. The young lady noticed that I was planning a trip north (from Kentucky) and asked about my destination. My response included an upcoming road trip to Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN and that resulted in…sharing Mayo Connect with the former MN resident!
Friendly conversation and good information for both of us. It was a good afternoon.
Rosemary

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