|chapters of the Brain Injury Association sponsor
support groups in many cities. In addition, support groups are provided
by medical and rehabilitation centers that provide services for their brain
injury clients. Many brain injury survivor groups have been established
in recent years. They address a variety of issues and welcome new members.
Many such organizations are listed in the Directory of Associations available
in your local library.
Support groups attract brain injury survivors and
their families who are seeking others with similar problems. Such groups
periodically invite family members, and professionals to discuss and exchange
feelings, experiences, and strategies for coping with the effects of traumatic
brain injury. The group members provide support and friendship for one
The awareness that you share a common experience
with others can provide essential reassurance and comfort. Support groups
provide an opportunity to discuss similar problems and work out effective
solutions. Support groups have proven to be very important adjuncts to
successful self-management of brain injury impairments.
efforts toward self-management of the impairments caused by your head injury
will be greatly aided by recruiting a support network of family and friends.
The individuals on your support team should understand your problem, trust
you to look after yourself, and stand ready to help you when, and if, the
need arises. Likewise, you must be sensitive to their needs and problems
too and help out where you can.
Building A Support Network Of
Family And Friends
It is absolutely essential to the success
of your efforts, to have a support network made up of people who share
your belief in what you are doing. Unconditional, positive, loving, and
continuing support from family members and close friends is invaluable.
You must assist them in their support of you by providing up-to-date, rigorous,
factual information. You must also be sensitive to their needs.
The care and feeding of your support network
is a frequently overlooked task of self-management. From time to time,
the composition of your network will change. Such changes take place for
any number of reasons including: lack of interest, incompatibility, conflicting
commitments, and burn-out. You should be mindful of such facts and take
steps to replace them as needed.
Carefully identify the roles and activities
of candidates for positions on your network. Choose individuals for each
role who possess special training, interest or experience in the things
you want them to do. Establish time lines regarding length of commitment
and build flexibility into scheduling, always incorporate contingency plans
into your plans.
The following Social Support Update and
Network form will prepare you to identify your needs for social and
The Recruitment, and volunteer Task form can be
circulated among family and friends to help you identify tasks and recruit
know how much assistance you can count on from your family and friends;
the next step would be to identify and fill gaps in your support network.
You might want to look to religious, fraternal, social, employee and professional
organizations to fill such gaps. Social Service and human resouces agencies
can often provide other sources of help. The form below will help you
design your Personal Safetynet