Support can be experienced in a number of ways:
- Face to face encounters in local groups
- National or regional charities with magazines, pen pal schemes etc.
- Online communities such as forums or message boards, chat rooms, e-mailing lists
- Social networks such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo, LinkedIn, Yahoo
Tips to get the most out of support groups:
- Do try to participate and offer support & your experiences to others – even sharing stories about your failures can be helpful.
- Keep an open mind – the people you meet will come from many walks of life and may have different perspectives of the illness and what helps.
- When joining an online group, be friendly but limit the amount of personal information you share in order to maintain your privacy and prevent possible identity theft.
- Make sure your anti virus software is installed and up to date.
- Always investigate before trying any thing that could affect your health and well being, even if it comes highly recommended.
- Check that the group offers what you want: informal chat & sharing, organised discussion groups, lectures, social activities or a chance to gossip.