MS peer support group wants to lend an ear

PEOPLE living with multiple sclerosis (MS) are giving hope to others through a peer support group based at the Glenorchy RSL.

Held on the last Monday of every month, the group gathers for guest speakers, social outings with other support groups, or simply just for a chat.

Facilitator Kerry Kievit said the support group was a “great way” to make new friends while learning more about the condition.

“It’s a very welcoming and non-judgemental environment where like-minded people get together to talk about their lives and share advice,” she said.

“The role of our peer support group in assisting people with resources is fantastic because there’s a lot of resources that we can give that they can’t get elsewhere in the community.

“We have educators who come along and help fill us all in with what’s going on with medications, health tips, living with MS and fatigue, support for the families, what’s happening in research and more.”

Ms Kievit was diagnosed with primary progressive MS in 2006 and has been involved with peer support groups for almost eight years.

“I find talking to people who have the condition is so much more valuable than talking to someone who hasn’t got it,” she said.

“There are so many different aspects of MS that I fully believe only someone with MS can understand.

“The support is the number one thing that you get out of it – it makes you feel good and helps you feel valuable.”

Giving and receiving practical and emotional support can help understand a recent diagnosis, manage symptoms and live well with MS.

The next meeting will take place on 25 May at Shoreline Restaurant to celebrate World MS Day.

Normal meetings will resume at the RSL from 29 June at 6pm.

The age of members range from mid-20s to late-60s.

For more information, phone 1800 042 138 or email kakievit@yahoo.com.au.

Caption: Glenorchy MS Peer Support Group facilitator Kerry Kievit.

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About the Author: Glenorchy Gazette

The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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