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LifeRing Alcohol and Drug Peer Support Groups

Alcohol and Drug Peer Support Groups

Bring LifeRing to your Community

 

One of the best things you can do to maintain your sobriety and be part of a large community of people helping others - is to volunteer as a Convenor by either running existing meetings or starting you own.

Leaders – Bringing LifeRing to your community.

Be a Pioneer!

Do you see a LifeRing opportunity in your community? In every city, people want to connect with others like them to share their recovery experiences. For those who prefer an option that focuses on self-help, secularity, and sobriety, a LifeRing meeting is the perfect fit. Consider the following if you want to help people in your area recover in the LifeRing way:

● Make sure LifeRing is the organization you can champion. Browse our website (www.liferingcanada.org) to learn about our philosophy and approach.
● If you are on board and interested in sharing LifeRing with others, it’s time to form your network of like-minded individuals. Talk to others in recovery who are committed to treating substance abuse and addiction; once a few individuals have agreed to help, they will form your core group of “convenors.” Your objective is to bring together people who are interested in recovery.

Can You Convene? Your Role in the LifeRing Team

Knowing if you’re ready to manage a LifeRing meeting requires reflection and readiness, as well as meeting a few guidelines. We ask that convenors have six months’ sobriety before starting a meeting. It’s also important to order and read the Convenorʼs Handbook to fully understand LifeRing’s philosophies and the convenor’s role. You might also co-convene an existing group to get your feet wet.

Putting Your Meeting Together

Follow these three essential steps:

1. Find a location, and choose a day of the week and a time to meet.
■ Tips! Evening meetings usually work best for most people. Also consider when other groups meet at your location, as well as “trigger” days (i.e., Friday and Saturday), and make sure that the meeting fits your own schedule.
■ There are lots of options for a free (or low-rent) and secure meeting location. Contact community centres, healthcare facilities, drug and alcohol centres, churches and other non-profit agencies. We can provide a letter to make the introduction.
2. Order essential convenor materials from the LifeRing Service Centre in Victoria at info@liferingcanada.org. To start and manage a LifeRing meeting, you need a Convenor Tool Kit. It will help you make your gatherings run smoothly and includes the “How Was Your Week?” Convenor’s Handbook, meeting guidelines, LifeRing brochures and literature samples, meeting open and close statements, and signage.
3. Promote the meeting. Use the resources at your fingertips to get the word out. Send a short announcement to community papers – including online versions – and use websites such as Craigslist and for-sale sites to promote awareness of your meetings. Post meeting posters (with permission) in locations that people who would benefit from attending your meetings will see, such as on popular community bulletin boards and in coffee shops. Call your local media and pitch them a story about why your LifeRing meeting is important to your city. Don’t forget about the providers of mental health and addiction services in your area – provide them with printed and electronic versions of your information materials.
■ Tip! Persistence pays off. Keep getting the word out to help your network grow. You can’t expect people to show up if you don’t get the word out. Eventually LifeRing will become well known in your area.

Partners – Making Connections with Professionals

Addiction, treatment, and health professionals are an essential part of the LifeRing community and serve as resources for our members who would like knowledgeable, specific, non-judgmental advice.

Building partnerships is an important part of the convenor’s role. Let potential supporters know that LifeRing is a trustworthy and well-established recovery service (we can provide insurance and references) and that their referrals are welcome. Occasionally professionals are resistant to referring people to us, but we’ve found we can overcome such resistance by demonstrating the way in which LifeRing works well with other service providers involved in helping people recover from addiction. Developing partnerships may take some time, but don’t be discouraged. Keep communicating with drug and alcohol counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health and addiction workers, doctors, and service agencies that work with people who are struggling with addiction. The more exposure such professionals get to LifeRing, the more positive their response to it will be.
• Tip! Give LifeRing brochures to all professionals and agencies you contact!

To start a new meeting in your city, contact info@liferingcanada.org.