Starting a Shubhankar Self - Help Support Group

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How does one go about starting a group? What are the steps to be taken? will this be an additional burden,
which one can't afford to take as a shubhankar?

One of the ways of bringing shubhankars together is to seek help of your psychiatrist, psychologist or counsellor. He in turn would ask shubhankars known to him to contact you, perhaps on the phone initially. If enough enthusiasm has been generated, you few could decide to meet at some place, which can accommodate up to, say, 50 persons. You can insert an ad in the local newspapers under column such as "Today's Engagements" which is normally free for a cause like yours, where no commercial activity is involved. On the day shubhankars turn up for such a meeting, some of you can decide to do self-introduction briefly. This can be followed by asking each one what they expect from a support group for shubhankars. You must not miss this opportunity to note down names and contact phone/addresses of the shubhankars who came for the meeting. This will be the database for future contact and activity. Before departing, it is necessary to decide when, where and what time you all will meet next. It would be a good idea for a professional, in addition to you few, to address those gathered and brief them of the advantages of having support group activities. You can, of course, count on SAA to sometimes depute one of its representatives to share experience in group formation and conducting activities.

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What is the source for funds needed to run a support group? Would that not be additional expenditure for the family, which has to spend on prolonged medication etc.?

Yes, paying donations means additional expense for the family. That is why it is voluntary. A shubhankar donates what he can, if & when he can. They are very responsible members of the support group and realize the need for its continuance. So they consider donation too as another form of self-help and self-reliance.

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