February 22, 2016
We asked our NAA affiliates who have registered as support or communication groups to send us some tips on how they advertise their groups to local communities. We will be sharing these tips through our posts in the hope that they may help other support groups reach out to more people with aphasia in their area.
The first one to respond was a support group called Aphasia Support with Peter, located in New Hampshire. Peter, a stroke survivor who has aphasia, is offering one-on-one support to anyone who needs it. Justine Andrews, Peter’s daughter and the coordinator for the group, wrote in response to our request:
Having a flyer is a big help because it’s something tangible that others can spread around. Here are a couple of tactics that we use to tell more people about our us:
- We’ve attended another group in the extended area and spread the word about our program by word of mouth. We also brought flyers with us to leave for anyone who’s interested in our program in the future.
- Through the NAA site, I find other groups in the extended area and I e-mail them about our program with flyers. Some have responded and said that they will print our flyers and share them with their group.
- We reached out to a local paper, which initially said they would write about our support initiative. However, they have stopped responding. I’m not sure where that one stands.
- We reached out to a doctor I knew previously, who was happy to share our flyer with some people.
I find that the biggest barrier to getting people involved is that when someone has aphasia, they are embarrassed and scared to talk to strangers for fear of being misunderstood. However, they almost always enjoy the groups and the support. The biggest way to overcome this, for us, has been to develop personal connections.
My dad has asked his old speech therapist to introduce him to others with stroke. Once my dad talks with them one-on-one, over the phone or in person, he’ll bring them to a support group. And of course, his friends end up loving the group and returning.
Send us your tips on how you spread the word about your support group, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s help more people with Aphasia get the support they need!