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  3. Virtual Community Support Groups – Experienced MEEPs Who Live With ME/CFS Or Long COVID

Virtual Community Support Groups – Experienced MEEPs Who Live With ME/CFS Or Long COVID

Our Experienced MEEPs group is now FULL – please click the button above if you wish to join the wait list.

Who the group is for:

Our online support group sessions for people who live with ME/CFS or Long COVID (5+ years) will run once a month and will consist of up to 12 participants. This group will be hosted by a professional facilitator through Emerge Australia. These sessions will take place through our virtual support space. The aim of the group is to help connect people who have lived with ME/CFS or Long COVID for a long period of time. Connecting people who have lived the challenges of ME/CFS or Long COVID for 5 or more years can create a sense of connection and belonging.

Why should I attend?

Accessing support to connect with others who are going through similar experiences is one of the primary requests that we receive at Emerge Australia. We have designed this program to provide a safe space – with a facilitator – where people who have ME/CFS or Long COVID can meet once a month. Our virtual space provides the option to connect further online in the virtual discussion room which participants will have access to after each session.

To ensure that carers and people with ME/CFS and Long COVID continue to be supported beyond the life of the program, a “volunteer community champions” pilot project is being developed. This will upskill community members to volunteer their time as group moderators. More information about this pilot project will be available in the new year.

Outlines of the program:

Each group will have access to their own virtual support room, here you will find:

• Five 60-minutes virtual support sessions run once a month for five months.
• A professional facilitator who will run and support each session.
• Access to the virtual room’s notice board that will provide a summary of the session or handout.
• Access to the virtual support room’s discussion board, allowing you to engage and communicate with other participants between sessions.
• Opportunity to participate in the volunteer community champions pilot project, that aims to enable your group to keep connected long after the 5 sessions have been completed.

What Do you need to bring:

  • Laptop/iPad
  • There will be an introduction session hosted by Emerge Australia towards the end of January 2024 with facilitated session commencing in February.

Facilitated session will run from 2pm to 3pm (AEDT), once a month, on the following Wednesday in 2024

• February 14
• March 13
• April 10
• May 8
• Jun 12

Following the five sessions, the group will have the option to continue in our ongoing virtual room, if a volunteer community champion, upskills into the moderator role.

For more information or if you have questions, please contact patientsupport@emerge.org.au

Meet your facilitator

Louise De Pino

My name is Louise, and I am a trained social worker who has lived with ME/CFS for 22 years. I became ill with ME/CFS when I was 12 years old, and I am currently housebound. Throughout the years, I have provided support to a number of people with chronic illnesses; I have previously facilitated a number of groups for chronically ill young people as part of a program within the Royal Children’s Hospital and facilitated a group for Emerge Australia last year. I love to spend my time reading, binge watching tv series in a single day and hanging out with my wife, my dog Bean and my cat Meow Meow. I am looking forward to facilitating in 2024 and can’t wait to meet you all!

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