AAFA has Educational Support Groups (ESGs) all across the country to help you gather relevant information about asthma and allergies and offer emotional support. Although the settings may vary, groups feature guest speakers, a medical advisor, and the vital face-to-face sharing of information and solutions for disease management.
Types of Educational Support Groups
Realizing that people have different needs, AAFA offers four types of ESG's to address the special challenges and issues faced by:
- Parent groups - Parents/caregivers may be at a loss when a loved one is diagnosed with asthma and/or allergies. Support groups can five you the help and knowledge you need to make it easier to cope.
- Pre-teens and teens - Young people, age 9-17, with asthma get the chance to talk to doctors, nurses, and peers about the challenges they face every day and to make new friends.
- Adult groups - Adults learn the latest advances in medications and research, the tools of asthma management and practical tips on how to deal with the issues they face.
Start a Group
Although AAFA has a number of ESG's across the country, there may not be one right in your community. This doesn't mean you have to give up, or you are all alone.
In fact, this is how many of AAFA's support groups get started. One person with drive and determination reaching out through local physicians, libraries, and hospitals
can bring together individuals eager to share and offer support. Your first meeting may begin over coffee with only a few people, but eventually the word spreads and you
find that your informal get-togethers have gained momentum. Your next step in the evolution of a successful support group is affiliating with AAFA.
A layperson, a professional, or a team of both can lead a group. Whether you are someone who needs to find others with the same health challenges or you are a professional
seeking new perspectives, contacts and growth, an AAFA support group will make a difference in your life!
If you are already located in an AAFA Chapter area, contact the AAFA Chapter near you to help start your support group.
Affiliating with AAFA lends credibility to you and your support group since you will be officially associated with a national organization.
Affiliating with AAFA is FREE and provides added benefits to your group, such as:
To affiliate with AAFA, your support group is required to:
- Referrals from AAFA's 1-800-7-ASTHMA
- Inclusion in the searchable database of affiliated groups on AAFA's website
- Free subscription to Leaders Link, AAFA's support group leader/advisor newsletter
- Free Resource Guide Starting Strong Staying Strong along with a companion by a CD-ROM
- Free technical assistance, and
- Free resources and special mailings throughout the year
Download these forms and the other resources below to prepare your official AAFA affiliation application today.
- Meet at least four times a year
- Recruit a physician to serve as medical advisor
- Have a minimum of ten members
- Complete the affiliation forms and submit semi-annual reports on the group's activities