Too much alone time can make our lives unduly hard.

"Alone time can relieve stress, build character, and serve the necessary function of providing a time-out from this hectic  world. But too much alone time can make our lives unduly hard, and lead us to feel unloved and unwanted" - Mary Ellen Copeland, Ph.D

The Actioning Recovery and Citizenship (ARC) Program within Footprints have been running Focus Groups with clients to discover what issues they believe are heavily impacting upon them. Loneliness and isolation are proving to be consistent themes.

Developing a strong network of supports can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task. We need more than a friend on Facebook; we need connections that are genuine and meaningful. Where do our clients, many with complex needs, begin to make these connections with others?

 

Every ARC client is offered the opportunity to complete a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) to assist in the development of strategies they need to self-manage their mental health and establish meaningful connections in their community of choice. WRAP suggests three pivotal places to begin seeking connection; Volunteering, Support Groups and Community Education. WRAP is run weekly over eight weeks in locations on the North and South of Brisbane.

 

One of the 5 key recovery concepts which underpin WRAP is support; and the founder of WRAP, Mary Ellen Copeland, recommends that people will benefit from having at least 5 supporters in their lives.

 

Supporters are people who:

  • Care about you

  • Empathize with you

  • Affirm you and validate your experience

  • Accept you as you are

  • Listen to you and share with you

  • Advocate with you

  • Enjoy sharing fun and interesting activities with you

  • Make decisions for you when you can't do this for yourself

  • Are willing to follow your predetermined plans

 

When people hear that 5 supporters are recommended they often feel quite overwhelmed, as they may have been quite isolated, lonely and distant from family. Five supporters are recommended so that too much is not asked from one person; so that no one person gets 'burnt out'; supporters have a variety of roles and that if someone goes away or is busy there are still others available.

 

Part of developing a strong support network is to make mutual support a priority, and to keep in touch regularly with friends and acquaintances even when things are going well. Most importantly initiate finding new friends and supports - and if you meet someone a few times and enjoy their company, suggest an activity of interest to you both

  • 24 Light Street Fortitude Valley Qld 4006
    PO Box 735 New Farm 4005
  • (07) 3252 3488
  • ABN 15 100 277 492

 

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