Suggestions for starting a local support group

I am interested in starting a local support group for families of diabetic children in our community. I would like any information you can share about starting a group, how often you meet. If you attend a group some of the things you do, if you cover certain topics at each meeting, have guest speakers or just let everyone get together and talk. What to do with the children while parents are involved in discussions? Thank you!

There is nothing like a support group where I live but I would love if there was. I have thought about trying to put one together but sometimes I feel like the only type 1 family in town (I know we are not)

In the North Alabama area we started a group called Hot Shots 3.5 years ago with the help from our local hospital and the Southeastern Diabetes Education Services. We do a mix of things for our gatherings. The fun events have been ice skating, putt putt, and bowling. The education sessions have been from a diabetes educator, the 504 meeting to prepare for going to or in school and speakers about outreach and the artificial pancreas. We were fortunate enough this year to bring on JDRF and the ADA to support Hot Shots. If you know some families that have children or adults with type 1 you could always start by having a lunch or dinner gathering. I would also contact your local or state JDRF chapter to see if they have anything in the works. I know JDRF is currently looking to create support/outreach groups and this may be happening now in your area. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions in regards to this.

stjrhein - I hope you consider starting up an outreach group in your area. There may be others in your same situation but too afraid to want to reach out and connect. If you need additional help or advice please don’t hesitate to ask! Good luck.

Thank you for your suggestions. I have been in contact with our local JDRF chapter, they are going to try and help me with guest speakers and put the meeting in their newsletter etc. There was no mention of reimbursement for snacks however something like this would be helpful since I am going it alone … I am distributing a newsletter to all the school nurses who can then pass them out to their diabetic families. I am working on getting the information in our local paper radio and tv in their community calendar. I am nervous because I do not speak well in front of a group of people. I will know more after our first meeting.

Tonight is our first get together, it might just be us and one other family but we can discuss what to call ourselves, what we want out of a group and how to let other families know we are here.
Any tips would be appreciated. Prayers too!
When we were diagnosed, I just felt so alone. Like no one understood. I found support online but no one I could see face to face. I don’t want anyone else to feel like that. :slight_smile:
Thank you for your encouragement!