Participants’ Impressions from the mental health support groups

Biljana Stefanovska
As a participant in the support group for parents of children with disabilities at the beginning we talked about the problems we face in our daily lives, something that was a familiar story to all of us, but over time it turned into mutual support and we started to we help each other, together fighting the barriers of the system in which we live. Seeing the group made up only of mothers of children with disabilities who are fighting for the welfare of the children my desire in the future together with the help of other participants and collaborators to encourage the fathers of these children to participate in such support groups is with the aim together to overcome the barriers and stereotypes surrounding the adaptation and acceptance of our children in the place where we live and to feel that this struggle is shared.

Biljana Stojanovska
At the very beginning of the support groups, I had one thought going through my head, and that was that these would be like any other project we have been involved in, for the sake of order to go through the process or to have some background. However, over time I was very positively surprised by how we were accepted, allowing us to share our problems, and for which we received specific directions to find the root of that problem if we could, or to learn to solve it with appropriate techniques, master or reduce the difficulty of our problem. The group, the members, the collaborators made us feel special as individuals, and not only as parents of children with special needs. In the future, I would like to involve the whole family in this project, i.e. the fathers, as well as the brothers and sisters of the children with special needs, and together we can overcome the problems that occupy us every day.

Jasmina Gelevska
This year, for the first time, I joined a support group for parents who have children with disabilities. It was a wonderful experience from which we became more positive people, we received a lot of support, advice, and courage and realized that we are worth more and worth fighting for. All participants have become like one family and our association will continue in the future. We have created a strong bond with the help of the professionals and we are grateful to them for that. I invite all people who are facing this kind of problem not to hesitate and get involved in such groups because together it is easier and we can do anything. My motto: We have no choice to choose, we must fight for ourselves and our loved ones.

Bojana Artinovska
I didn’t know what to expect, it’s my first experience with psychologists. I just knew I had to face my truth. Fortunately, I quickly gained confidence and felt safe in the group. I was able to face more fears and learned to share and at the same time be there for other members of the group ie. to listen. I learned a lot about mental health through theoretical lectures, but the experiential Gestalt exercises helped me to find answers very quickly and opened the possibility for further work with myself. The biggest benefit I think is that I learned to consciously approach problems, knowing that there is a solution, I just have to look at it from a different perspective. Recognizing a problem helps me personally, but also the feeling of support and compassion in me is now more pronounced when I see it in another. I encourage anyone who finds himself or herself in this predicament to join if they can. I think accepting help is one of the hardest things we all have to learn. This was a wonderful experience for me and I am infinitely grateful.

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