I’ve learnt a lot about peer support during this pandemic.
Due to not being able to hold face to face meet ups Epilepsy Queensland (EQI) decided to hold meet ups over zoom. They also got regional Queenslanders involved which was something very new to us as there’s not a lot in the way of support groups where we are.
Beforehand my experience with peer support, other than my mother who deserves her own peer support, was having a few close friends who didn’t understand what I’m going through. While there’s things they may not understand, that’s still a valid form of peer support. For some it’s the only support they’ll ever have.
Social anxiety had me scared to join the group, but now? I can’t imagine life without the zoom crew. We’ve built a community of peers who know the struggles each of us face and we support each other through them. What might be hard to talk about with abled friends is suddenly much easier because you know you won’t be misunderstood.
What I’m trying to say is that while all forms of peer support are valid, we need to do more to make peer support groups widespread and accessible.