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    Online Support for People Who Care About Someone with a Mental Illness

How welcoming have you found support groups?

This forum is specifically for LGTBQ community members supporting a partner or friend who has a mental illness and is facilitated by a community member.

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AndrewBCSS
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How welcoming have you found support groups?

Unread postby AndrewBCSS » 07 Sep 2016

Hi there,
I"m wondering how welcoming to same-sex partners the in-person family member support groups have been, in your experience?
Here is a full list of the ones in BC: http://www.bcss.org/monthly-meetings-calendar/

I work for the BC Schizophrenia Society and am out (as lesbian) to my colleagues at work. I've let them know that if they have any questions relating to same sex partners or queer folks in general in the family support groups they facilitate, that I am here to help them be welcoming. If you have found any particular group welcoming or not welcoming, I'd appreciate knowing about it.

If you have any questions about how to access in person support groups, or how best to use this one, or anything else, I'm here too.
Sincerely,
Sophia
___________________
Andrew Stewart
Operations Manager
British Columbia Schizophrenia Society
A reason to hope. The means to cope.
www.bcss.org

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Salix
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Relationship: Spouse (wife, husband, common-law, partner)
gender: female
Region: Vancouver Island, BC
City or Region: Victoria

Re: How welcoming have you found support groups?

Unread postby Salix » 15 Nov 2016

I have only really been to one a couple of times, which seemed to be specifically for partners of those with schizophrenia, so I was the odd one out (partner has severe PTSD and DID). It was actually fine. However, I will say this was before she started transitioning (M to F trans) but the group did discover that I had full romantic/sexual relationships with 3 of her adult alters (2 female, one male). I have not had the time/energy to even get out to any support groups because if I'm not helping her deal with life, I'm working all the time to support the two of us because she can't work. That's my main issue; time/energy. Scratch that - main issue is money because I'd have the time and energy if I didn't have to sometimes work 2 jobs and be her primary emotional support.

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AndrewBCSS
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Posts: 1298
Joined: 21 Mar 2007
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City or Region: Vancouver
Location: British Columbia
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Re: How welcoming have you found support groups?

Unread postby AndrewBCSS » 16 Nov 2016

Hi Salix,
I think it's not so much that the group is for partners of those with schizophrenia, but that partners of persons with schizophrenia often attend because they need support, if that makes sense. Also if the group is organized by the BC Schizophrenia Society sometimes people think they can't go unless their partner has schizophrenia.

Does your partner have access to financial assistance? The BC Schizophrenia Society has a family educator in Victoria who should be able to figure out if she or you are eligible for any financial help. You can call them at (250) 384-4225. If you get any difficulties or misunderstandings relating to LGTBQ issues from them (I don't expect any, but just in case), or anything else, email me at onlinesupport@bcss.org and I'll help. Also, there is a respite program in Victoria, and there might still be one. Respite is where you get a small amount of funding to help do something that gives the family caregiver (you) a break. Here's some info on that: http://bcssvictoria.ca/programs-for-peo ... s/respite/

Sincerely,
Sophia
___________________
Andrew Stewart
Operations Manager
British Columbia Schizophrenia Society
A reason to hope. The means to cope.
www.bcss.org


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