Peer Support Groups
The traumatic injury impacts not only the physical functioning of the individual but the psychosocial health of the patient and their family. Trauma survivors – the patients and the families – may face social isolation, financial upheaval, and continuing feelings of anger, depression, or guilt. A survivor’s sense of self is challenged, and social support systems can be exhausted before recovery is complete. The TSN Peer Support Group is a key component of the Trauma Survivors Network. It offers survivors an opportunity to connect with other survivors and receive and give support. The support group is well suited for easing trauma survivors’ emotional stress, including feelings of isolation, loneliness, depression, helplessness and hopelessness. Groups enable discussions of central concerns of patients and families, such as anger, loss, and mourning, in a supportive, growth-promoting environment. By normalizing the experience of recovery and increasing the survivor’s self-efficacy through education and resource sharing, support groups have the potential to strengthen the survivor’s coping, as well as reduce isolation.
Every support group is facilitated by a trauma survivor. Some support groups also have a group leader who is a health processional involved in the care of trauma patients. Most groups meet monthly and often include guest speakers who can talk about topics of interest to the group.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF JOINING A PEER SUPPORT GROUP?
Some benefits of a peer support group include:
- Gaining support and hope from others facing similar experiences
- Feeling less anxious, afraid or alone
- Sharing experiences and helping others
- Learning new skills for coping and enhancing your life
- Becoming more self confident
- Feeling more in control
- Developing new friendships
HOW to JOIN A PEER SUPPORT GROUP
If you wish to join a support group in your area, you can look through the groups offered at your trauma center. You can contact the TSN Coordinator of your trauma center. And remember you can also go to our online community forum to link up with other survivors and their families for information, support and hope.