What about family & friends of someone with a spinal cord injury?
Spinal cord injury not only impacts the individual but can also have a significant impact on family and friends. It can be a devastating occurrence for all involved. If your family member or friend has sustained a spinal cord injury, you are likely to be feeling many mixed and often strong emotions. A report by the University of Alabama describes the emotions of family members as grief, anger, frustration, anxiety and numbness. It states that the feelings brought about by SCI are similar to those experienced after the loss of a family member.
It is important to remember that whatever you are feeling, it is normal. You are likely to need extra support, so it is important that you reach out to those who are close to you. As time goes on, research has shown that some people become closer to their family member or friend with SCI. As well as this, “more efficient ways of doing things” are discovered, as the person with SCI almost always regains greater independence. Crucially, the Alabama report also states that the injury decreases in importance over time, as adjustments are made and the family returns to a similar dynamic to that which existed before the SCI.
Spinal Injuries Ireland are here to provide support to you at any stage of your family or friend’s SCI journey. To arrange to speak to or meet with a Community Outreach Officer (COO) or connect in with our peer support program, please contact us at [email protected] or on (01) 653 2180 today.
But most importantly, make sure to always speak to your GP if you feel unable to cope. Alternatively, there are a number of other support services available to you including:
The Samaritans – Freephone 116 123
A confidential emotional support service for anyone in Ireland.
GROW – GROW.ie or 1890 474 474
A Community Mental Health Movement in Ireland.
AWARE – aware.ie or (01) 66 17 211
Support through depression.