During the last few months eleven new instructors (social and health care professionals) have been trained to lead peer support groups in Turku, southwesterly Finland. A few new groups have been founded also in Helsinki, southern Finland. There are now 14 groups in Helsinki, three groups in Turku and two groups in Rauma (western Finland). Our goal is that the peer support group action spreads wider in Finland this year.
The peer support groups get together once a week: it provides routine, meaning and social contacts in the life of elderly sufferning from substance abuse problems that so often is very lonely. Some of the groups also provide small activities at a workshop.
The group members have been asked how they feel about the groups. Here are some direct quotes from the group members:
”I’m always looking forward to friday, It’s so nice to be part of this.” (male, 66)
”It’s the highlight of my week.” (male, 78)
”I stay sober at least that day” (male, 73)
”I feel better in the company of other people as a part of a group” (female, 67)
”My social skills have improved. I used to be afraid of groups but now I’ve learned that by experience I can adjust.” (Female, 58)
”I am not lonely anymore.” (Female, 64)
Also the majority of the group instructors feel that because of the meaningful, effective peer support group action their job satisfaction and their understanding of elderly people’s substance abuse problems have increased / improved.
We continue our work among the elderly and thank our doners once again for your support.