Home Support groups for SCA survivors

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Forming a support group

As survival from sudden cardiac arrest increases across the United States we are faced with the good problem of having more survivors.  In the past, these survivors and their families have not traditionally had many resources to help them return to productive lives.  Establishing a local support group in your community can be a very valuable resource for survivors and their families, and incredibly rewarding for the individuals who support them. The resources at LifeAfterSCA.org can guide you in creating a successful SCA survivor support group.

A survivor support group can provide an outlet to share stories and frustrations, a resource for finding answers to medical questions, and simply awareness that a victim of cardiac arrest is not alone, and that others have experienced similar fears and anxieties. Research has shown the importance of social support in recovery from all sorts of illnesses and injuries, and a survivor group is one way to increase that support.

Support groups do not all look the same. Some exist simply as a way for survivors to talk to other survivors, share stories, and encourage each other in their recoveries. Others take on advocacy roles, educating the public or engaging local legislators. What support groups all have in common is providing a forum for survivors to meet and help each other as peers.

Below you will find resources for starting and running a support group in your area.

 

 

Resources to help with outreach and forming a support group

 

Brochures

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Tips for Forming a Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivor Support Group

As survival from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) increases across the United States, we are faced with the good problem of having more survivors. In the past, these survivors and their families have not traditionally had many resources to help them return to productive lives. Establishing a local support group in your community can be a very valuable resource for survivors and their families, and incredibly rewarding for the individuals who support them. The resources here can guide you in creating a successful SCA survivor support group.

Download Brochure

 

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Helping Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivors Get Back to Living

Surviving sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is just the first step toward full recovery—but don’t worry, there are plenty of resources to assist you as you recover. Many survivors have described physical, mental, and emotional changes after the event—some that last for a few hours, and others that never go away. While each person’s experience is unique, many have said they share similar feelings and go through the same lifestyle changes, from receiving an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to new thoughts about their own mortality.

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Helping Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivors’ Loved Ones

Having a family member suffer from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is frightening, but there are plenty of resources to help you and your family. It is perfectly normal to experience shock, anger, denial, or sadness at first. Witnessing the event can be especially traumatizing and many family members feel they didn’t do the right thing or know how to help.

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Flyers

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Announcing a Helpful New Resource for Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivors

Every year, 40,000 people survive sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in the U.S., and the number of survivors is growing thanks to community, state and national efforts to improve SCA survival rates. Surviving SCA is a dramatic event in someone’s life, one that can often lead to new challenges to overcome. Many survivors face not only changes in their health and behavior, but also changes in their way of thinking about themselves and about life. And that’s where the new dedicated LifeAfterSCA.org comes in—with resources to help survivors and their loved ones face life after sudden cardiac arrest.

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Before and After the Save – You play an Important Role

Every year, 40,000 people survive sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in the U.S., and the number of survivors is growing thanks to community, state and national efforts to improve SCA survival rates. You play an important role in SCA survival before and after the save. By teaching CPR, working with your local survivor support groups, raising awareness and sharing this new resource with survivors, hospitals and healthcare providers in your community you help save lives.

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Tip Sheets

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Tips for Creating a Mentor Program

When someone survives an event like sudden cardiac arrest, they face many questions and fears. A mentor provides emotional support and helps a recent survivor cope with these new doubts and emotions. A mentor listens to a survivor’s concerns and questions and shares her own story.

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Tips for Creating a Newsletter

A great way to keep survivors and members of the community informed is through a newsletter. While social media is often relied upon, there are still many people who cannot be reached on Facebook or Twitter and prefer a newsletter, which they know will provide regular updates on important news.

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Tips for Using Social Media

Social media can be a very effective way of reaching an audience. You can use it to find survivors to join your group, to keep members updated and announce information on meetings or projects, and to advertise public outreach or education events.

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Tips for Organizing a Survivor Celebration

A survivor celebration can be a wonderful event for your community. It serves as a commemoration of the opportunity for a second life for the survivor; a time to recognize the bystanders and professionals who played a role in giving the survivor that second chance; and an occasion to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest in the community.

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Tips for Creating Community Partnerships

A key component of the continued success of your survivor group is support from community partners. You may want to ask for contributions for a specific event, like a survivor celebration, or for ongoing assistance of your survivor support group.

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Sample Letter 1: Donors – General

Since our organization relies on the generosity of individuals like you, we write to ask you to consider a donation to our cause. A donor envelope is enclosed for your convenience. We hope that you will help support our efforts.

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Sample Letter 2: Donors – Capital Campaign

Our important work is supported largely by the generosity of donors who contribute to our annual capital campaign. Tis year’s goal is [dollar amount], which will allow [name of organization] to continue providing much needed support to those in our community who are affected by sudden cardiac arrest.

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Sample Letter 3: Donors – Event

We are asking for [specific donation] that will be used [how it will be used]. Can we count on you to help make this a memorable occasion for our community? I will follow up with you in a few days to discuss the details or you can reach me at [contact information].

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Templates

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“You Saved a Life” Certificate
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Event Program/Booklet
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Meeting Announcement
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Meeting Announcement With Contact Form
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Newsletter
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Special Event Announcement
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Survivor Support Group Announcement
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Survivor Profile
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