WHEN: 2nd Wednesday of the month from 1-3pm
LOCATION: Firehall Library - 1455 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver (venue and date sometimes change), just close to Granville and Broadwayinquiries and info
Inquiries and info:
Leslie - 778 317 9643 Barb - firstname.lastname@example.org
Note : Watch for group e-mails prior to meetings in case of any issues with date or venue booking - Kitsilano Group
Note : This group is varied in participants experience in self management, very supportive and open
Note : This group has been working its way through topics related to self care, balance and self advocacy
Note : This group is very open to topic suggestions which will be worked into group development of self care strategies
Note : Group suitable to all chronic Health Conditions, newbies and seasoned community members will fit in nicely, welcoming, Inclusive environment, all are welcome.
Come as you are. Peer-led groups, so everyone facilitating is also facing health challenges. Facilitators have first hand knowledge, and lived experience of barriers and challenges faced by participants.
**if you would like to receive meeting notices, please forward your name and email address to Leslie/Barb/Linda
**please feel free to just drop by and join us as you are able : )
Group runs once a month
Facilitators can be reached for issues between meetings at the contact info above - see memo below
We are focused on Chronic Pain and the many Chronic Health Challenges related to Pain and Chronic Illness including Fibromyalgia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
We have many members with Fibromyalgia and ME , including 2 out of our 3 facilitators.
Our participants each face similar health barriers and challenges as each other, in living with their individual health issues.
Our focus is on collaboration and sharing, carefully maintaining a proactive approach to life, our health, and resulting emotions.
Our approach is knowledge based, peer led and supportive.
Facilitators are open and approachable, and directable in terms of participants needs and group direction, please talk to us about what you need from your support group : ) we are here for you. It's a together team
we are always glad for suggestions, and help arranging speakers for special events. Our facilitation style is collaborative. We rely on the life experience, wisdom and strengths of the participants to make each of these groups vibrant and comfy for everyone.
We strongly suggest that group members at some point take at least one of the UVIC courses offered with Self Management BC as many of our members have had major strides forward in their overall situations from taking the course(s). The knowledge and structure shared in their courses is an essential platform within our groups. Highly recommended : Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Pain or , Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Illness. Please note for those homebound that there is an online course, as well as the university of Regina's online course as well, also suggested within our group's platform.
We also lead and encourage members to maintain, supplement or build a helpful emotional and health support system, including utilizing online support platforms as needed and or available for Chronic Illness through various local agencies. Many members focus on balance and self care strategies to access inner strength and emotional fortitude as we are also our own best guides. But remembering to reach out as needed. Each member finds their own path to emotional health and balance, especially through mindful pacing for optimal health and wellness.
**many members have varying levels of chemical sensitivity, please consider this when grooming prior to group, consider skipping hairspray lotions etc, and be aware that many modern toiletries and household items such as laundry detergent, and shampoo have scents that embed in surfaces such as hair or clothes and slowly release scent for up to 3 to 8 days and can make others very sick around you. Please be very conscious of what you wear or bring with you to group and in public areas. Thank you on behalf of some of our more sensitive members.
Important Memo :
For Crisis services please refer to your local crisis centres, and various online support chats where people are available quickly.
Our facilitators are also dealing with health issues and have somewhat limited availability outside group, however we are available if you hit a wall , call us , we will help if we can. Just please try crisis services first.
Very limited outreach and advocacy can be arranged if needed, with a focus on sourcing more sustainable community supports for ongoing needs. This is mostly suited to sudden change, building support resources, or transitioning from employment to provincial disability where a series of steps may need navigation tactically and emotionally. Please ask for help if you need it.
If you are feeling suicidal, please stay safe. Call a crisis line or a suicide line. PLEASE never give up until you reach someone- DON'T LET IT WAIT you are worth it !!! big love and hugs !! Everything will work out in time ...just doesn't always feel like it ... hold tight ...be strong ...you can do it !!!!
YOUR COMMUNITY OF LOVING INDIVIDUALS IS WAITING FOR YOU : ) DROP BY ANY TIME , WE ARE HERE FOR YOU !!!
This is also a fantastic place to seek resources and think outside the box, and confer with others for strategies to deal with challenges not often met within our current medical system. As mentioned, it is a great learning environment for practitioners, all welcome as long as you are not selling services.
The format of the groups is :
We have a two part meeting, participants are welcome to slip in later if needed, and leave early as needed, with a focus on self-monitoring our own care needs and abilities. Just please do not be disruptive when slipping in or out for self care, thanks
The first part of the meeting is personal sharing, focused on how the past month has gone, and any particular challenges participants are facing in regards to health and well-being. Participation in discussions is up to each person's discretion/comfort level, it's ok to choose not to share.
The door is open to anyone wanting to understand chronic illness and listen/share compassionately.
Respectful Friends, Family members and members of the health community are also welcome. Please practice compassionate listening.
This is a great place for a friend or family member to learn or gain a fuller understanding of what you or another person may be dealing with while living with Chronic Illness. It is an excellent and embracing learning environment.
The second part of the meeting is a discussion on a focused topic, or a speaker on a focused topic related to health.
The model we use is that there is no right answer, and different things work for different people. We take particular attention to try to frame things from a personal point of view rather than saying "this works" o "this doesn't work"...same goes for medications ... what does not work for one person could be a miracle/major breakthrough for another person
we also promote the resources available through several websites including Pain BC, People in Pain, ME/FM Society of BC, and the many webinars and lectures available on the wwdpi website
each of these websites also lists great books which many members have found helpful
Here are some examples of topics we have covered :
maintaining / restoring the balance of self care in the face of health challenges
reclaiming /redesigning hobbies or passions in the face of limitations or loss
loss and grief
mindfulness in its many forms and uses
managing difficult emotions in relation to health setbacks
dealing with "new normals", resilience
coping strategies - helpful / harmful, a lens of mindfulness not judgement
accessing personal skill sets and inner strength to assist with challenges
gratitude practices to shift focus / create more joy
asking for help
communicating limitations or needs in a positive/assertive/proactive way
accessing community resources
accessing advocacy, and what's available
communicating illness information/needs/boundaries/limitations with friends and family
communicating with practitioners
maintaining self care/boundaries in a relationship
our own needs vs the expectations of others and the expectations of self
Brief action Planning and smart goal setting for creating meaning, Joy or activity (value adding)
sharing : tips , tools, and techniques members share what they find useful for self care (once a year)
dealing with family vs self
handling the holidays with grace and self care
Examples of speakers we have had :
Psychologist (handling difficult emotions in the face of life change)
Dieticians - nutrition and pain, nutrition and wellness
BC Compassion Club - information session
Reiki - demonstrationsReflexology - for Pain, body alignment, health and wellness
Pain BC - Connect for Health (now under a new name)
Local community Resources and Agencies - program introductions
Advocacies - introduction to services
Recreation Programs - Aquafit, chair yoga, etc
Osteopathy - history and modality, pain, body alignment and health
Feldenkrais - movement therapy for pain and health, mindfulness focus
Brain Gym - mental fitness for chronic pain and chronic Illness
Ayurvedic medicine - diet for Pain and optimal health, identifying food allergies Inclusive environment, all are welcome
Come as you are. All the best to you in your Health Journey ...reach out as needed. Contact Info at Top ...