An overview of the activities of the support group for single-parent families

By Renata Dimanovska

Reflecting on the past six months of leading our support groups, I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude for the incredible journey we have shared. When we started this activity, my colleague Ljupco and I had a leading motive to create a safe space, free from prejudices, where everyone can openly discuss the difficulties they face daily and the ways they can deal with them.

Together, we have cultivated a community where every voice is heard and every story is valued. We witness profound moments of vulnerability, resilience, and growth. Members bravely shared their experiences, finding not only support but strength to face their challenges. And most importantly, our discussions fostered empathy and connection, reminding members that they are not alone in their struggles.

The tools and insights gained here have encouraged members to make meaningful changes and approach their challenges with renewed hope and confidence.

Over the past few months, a wide range of mental health topics have been covered, including: What is mental health and how to take care of it, what exactly is anxiety and how to deal with it, the occurrence of panic attacks, and techniques for coping, post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma and working with a traumatic event, challenges of modern parenting, parenting styles, communication styles, resilience, and many other topics. I must emphasize that most of the topics were followed by experiential exercises that also helped the participants experience what we discussed.

We are grateful to our participants for being a part of this journey and for making the past six months truly transformative.

The project „Peer school for children and youth mental health“ of the Youth Association YMCA Bitola has been implemented in the frames of the regional program for local democracy in Western Balkans2 Reload2, financed by the European Union (EU), implemented by United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The project is co-financed by the Municipality of Bitola. The project has been implemented by the YMCA in cooperation with Poraka Nova and Amos.

For participant’s impressions, you can read here