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How do I create a self help gathering?

I am a person with a rare health condition. I would love to join a community of people who are going through the same. Until now, I have been getting self help information online.

Having a self help group will help me greatly as I seek to improve myself physically, emotionally and mentally. I get depressed from time to time and feel like meeting other people will immensely help me. At the same time, I want to discover techniques you can use to focus on yourself.  

If this speaks to you, feel free to contribute.

Alexa Spicer

in Self Improvement

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Bethany Evans on January 2, 2018

Self-help groups are a meeting of people who have the same interests when it comes to caring for certain issues. The aim of self-help forums is to give support to members and offer them an opportunity to deal with challenges they are facing.

Focusing on yourself and mutual support are the core functions of these groups.

How to start

Ensure that no similar group exists in your locale. This is to ensure efficiency and to prevent conflict.

Plan for the first meeting

As you prepare for the meeting consider the following.

The aim. These can include:

  • Providing an avenue for members to meet frequently and get mutual support.
  • Provide a forum for people to interact with others in the same predicament and share ideas
  • Provide a forum for caregivers to learn about rare diseases

Group members

These groups are not for everyone. Only people who feel a special connection to the subject can join.

Be sure to publicize the meeting. This will aid in recruiting those who are interested. Below are ways you can advertise:

  • Radio and television- allows for free advertisement of community occasions
  • Local newspapers
  • Places of worship
  • Posters
  • Word of mouth

Place

When choosing a location consider these:

  • Size
  • Comfort
  • Convenience
  • Cost

Consider schools, places of worship and community structures.

Try to stick to a particular venue to ease event recurrence.

Time

On your first meeting decide on the best time for meetings, frequency, duration etc.

Cost

As you’re just aiming at improving yourself, these groups ought to be free. If you accrue some expenses, it is better if they are paid for by the group.

Practical arrangements

Choose an appropriate venue so that members can feel comfortable. Factor in the following as you arrange your venue:

  • Room arrangement – Consider arranging the seats in a circle to help create a friendly atmosphere.
  • Temperature of the room – Ensure the room is neither too hot nor too cold
  • Welcome person – Arrange for someone to act as a welcome person. They will be responsible for welcoming and greeting members.
  • Someone needs to know how to make contact with all the members of the group
  • Resources – Decide on whether to provide any reading material on the subject

Choose the group leader

This is the most crucial aspect in forming a group. Leadership is directly tied to the success of the group. You ought to choose a knowledgeable leader in a democratic way.

Olive Wilsona year ago

Many established self-help groups are available to address different problems. However, just as you are struggling to find a group that you fit in, many people out there maybe struggling with the same problem. Therefore, I recommend that you start your own group. It is simple and you can find people that suffer from the same condition by online. Here is how to start:

  • Define the difficulties you want to address and set your goals.
  • Find people who are willing to help you start the group and then form a committee.
  • Register a name for your group.
  • Set the times that you will be holding meetings.
  • Select an appropriate venue for your meetings.
  • Start marketing your group to people in your social circle. This will attract members that share your problem. Starting this group will help you deal with your condition while still helping other people to deal with theirs.

Wilson Hansena year ago

It is definitely a great idea to start your own self help group, as you can choose people who have the same difficulties and goals as yours. I also want to advise you to start doing something that you have always wanted to do but never got the chance to start doing it. For example, go to a music class, learn a new skill, or practice a new hobby. That way, you will get to meet with other people with which you will have common interests. This will also give you a great chance to improve yourself physically, emotionally and mentally.


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