How To Get Your Group Support Group Started!
Spreading The Word
Well, you’ve made the choice to start your group! Yay! Now, how do you spread the word that you have a new support group?
- Notify local doctors, urologists, gynecologists etc. that your group is getting started and you’d like to offer your group to other local IC patients. I personally visited every urologist in my town, introduced myself to the receptionist, nurse and/or physician when available. I provided flyers that they could post and/or hand out to patients directly. Please note that due to HIPAA requirements, they cannot give you any names directly. All they can do is share your contact information with patients and then encourage them to contact you directly.
- Ask that your group be listed on the ICN and ICA website support group listings. All we need is your group name, group leader, contact information, meeting schedule and, if available, a website or blog. Mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Post group meetings in the ICN Forum and on our Facebook Page.
- Share your group information to your friends through social networking!
Finding A Co-Leader
Your first task is to find a co-leader or two. You first letter can not only announce the formation of your group but also your desire to look for other patients who want to get involved. The more hands you have to help you, the easier meetings will be covered, especially if you are under the weather and can not attend. Best of all, having co-leaders allows you to split your responsibilities. For our group, one co-leader handled the money and was able to get us a free checking account. The second did the announcements and shared meeting facilitation with the third co-leader.
Who is a good co-leader? Someone who is equally concerned about the same issues. They should fit well with your goals and priorities that we’ve listed above. If someone volunteers to be a group leader but then doesn’t follow through, then keep looking until you find that gem!
Author: Jill Osborne