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Building Your Support Team

(Source: Heart & Soul: Your Guide to Living with Congenital Heart Disease, Heart & Stroke Foundation)

Remember that you are not alone. Your friends, family, and work colleagues want to help. Some may not know how to hep. Tell you support team exactly what is helpful and what is not. For example, try saying:

  • “Just listening to me is helpful. It’s hard when people tell me not to worry.”
  • “It’s okay to ask me how I’m doing.”
  • “How about taking the kids this weekend so John and I can have some quiet time alone?”
  • “I can’t seem to pull the meals and housework together these days – any help would be wonderful.”
  • “Come with me to my child’s next appointment.”
  • “I need some time off to deal with all of this.”

There may be others you haven’t thought of yet who could offer support for you and your family. There may be advantages in letting others know about your needs.

Community and Support Groups

Local community organizations such as service clubs, churches, and community centres can offer financial and other forms of help.

Health care professionals in your community such as public health nurses, your family doctor, community social workers, and family counsellors can help you during this difficult time.

Look for support from those who have shared similar life experiences. Talk about your concerns. Parent and family support networks may offer this kind of support. (See Support Groups in Your Province)

Questions to ask yourself

You are in charge of building your support team.

Ask yourself

  • What do we need to help us cope right now?
  • Who will best be able to support us?
  • Is this person stressing us or supporting us?