Managing Support Networks
Social support is the physical and emotional comfort given to us by our family, friends, co-workers, professional help and others. Support comes in many different forms; financial support, help with daily tasks, advice, listening, empathy, a hug. Which ever form of support you received, having support is shown to have many positive health benefits such as higher levels of well-being, better coping skills and reduced likelihood of depression and anxiety.
After a diagnosis, the amount and type of support needed, may be very different than prior to the diagnosis. Looking to others for support and needing support may not be an easy transition. An important piece in feeling supported is our perception of whether or not we feel supported. It is possible to be surrounded by others offering help and still perceive ourselves as not having enough support.
When developing a support network start with people who are already in your life. Consider making a list of positive supports you already have and then build additional support in the areas you feel you require more support; for example, support groups offer both knowledge and empathy for the challenges you may face.
What type of support are you looking for:
Emotional Support: help by telling us they care and think kindly of us. A shoulder to cry on.
Instrumental Support: help taking care of your physical needs and offer a helping hand when you need it.
Informational Support: help by providing guidance, advice, information, and mentoring.
Below are some resources to support you in developing your support network.