Support groups help many survivors overcome their sense of isolation. Hear how sharing their experience made it easier for Louise and Pierre to gain information and find support.
Talking with others who had a similar experience as yours can help you identify solutions to problems that you are facing. The group experience can create a sense of belonging that can help you feel less alone and more understood. Some support groups are structured and focus on specific, pre-determined topics, while others are informal and allow the group to direct the areas to explore. Some groups are facilitated by professionals, others by peer leader, while others may share leadership among the group itself. Some groups are made up only of people with lymphoma or only members of the support team, while some include spouses, family members, or friends.
Before joining a support group, it is a good idea to speak with the group leader or facilitator and ask the right questions to make sure that the group is right for you. Make sure it is made up of the people who are going through a similar situation so that you will feel comfortable sharing your story and that the members of the support group can help you. Here are a list of potential questions you can ask to see if a particular group is suitable for you:
- What days and times does the group meet?
- Is the group ongoing or time limited?
- What is the make-up of the group?
- Are there specific topics or is the discussion open-ended?
- What are the expectations of the group participants?
- Who is the group leader and what are their credentials?
- Who is invited to the meetings?
Lymphoma Canada supports a number of support groups. Follow this link to learn more and see if there is a group in your area. You can also receive information about starting a group of your own.