Support groups and their role in coping


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Support groups and their role in coping by Soumil Patwardhan

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Support groups and their role in coping

  1. 1. Soumil Patwardhan Seth G. S. Medical College
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Why information therapy for patients is the need of the hour </li></ul><ul><li>Support groups an important component of this initiative. </li></ul><ul><li>How life-threatening and disabling disorders like Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Huntington’s Chorea and Down’s syndrome highlight the need of such support groups. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Definition <ul><li>Support Group (syn. Self Help Group) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ A support group or self help group is a voluntary organization, usually of peers, who have come together for mutual help and support, in satisfying a common need, overcoming a common handicap or a life-threatening problem and bringing about desired social or personal change or both’ </li></ul>
  4. 4. Types of Support groups <ul><li>Professional Types </li></ul><ul><li>These are established and managed by professionals like doctors, nurses or other health workers who may or may not have any personal experience with the concerned condition. </li></ul><ul><li>Peer Types </li></ul><ul><li>These are established by past/present sufferers of the condition or by people, with kith/kin who have suffered or friends who have come in close contact with sufferers of the condition. </li></ul>
  5. 5. History of Support Groups <ul><li>One of the first support groups was Alcoholics Anonymous, started in 1935. </li></ul><ul><li>1960s – Civil rights movements, people’s awareness led to development of the support group movement. </li></ul><ul><li>1970s – Mass movements became more local movements addressing current local conditions and difficulties </li></ul><ul><li>1976s – Literature and scientific works published on the support group movement. </li></ul>
  6. 6. History (contd.) <ul><li>1980s – Self help group systems established. Information and referral services provided to public enabling easy access to such groups and inter-communication between them. </li></ul><ul><li>Another feature in the ’80s was the development of international networks of support groups thus widening the horizons. </li></ul><ul><li>1990s – Online support groups established. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Importance of Support Groups <ul><li>Sources of Information </li></ul><ul><li>Welfare – People meet individuals suffering from similar conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Political – Help rally for getting a point across </li></ul><ul><li>Legal – Protection and upgrading privacy laws/protects members from discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Research – Members form a cohort for research </li></ul><ul><li>Establishing basic treatment guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Provision of funds/resources and facilities. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Certain aspects to look out for… <ul><li>Accountability – May be lacking in some groups </li></ul><ul><li>Too few people running the show with a very few active members. </li></ul><ul><li>Well known disorders may get a much larger share of attention from the groups as well as people with lesser known conditions and its sufferers being left out. </li></ul>
  9. 9. New trends – Online groups <ul><li>More convenient </li></ul><ul><li>Widespread </li></ul><ul><li>Greater availability of information </li></ul><ul><li>Greater interaction between people </li></ul>
  10. 10. How can Society ‘support’ Support Groups <ul><li>Regular participation of members of society </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteering in social work </li></ul><ul><li>Providing funds and donations </li></ul><ul><li>Providing words of encouragement </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction of society members with sufferers of the particular condition that the support group is associated with. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Support Groups in Mumbai & beyond <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  12. 12. Future… <ul><li>The future holds great promises with worldwide networking, widespread participation, increasing funds, bringing members from different countries together with hopes of better treatment options and strategies. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>‘ Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul, are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you’ </li></ul><ul><li>- Oscar Wilde </li></ul>