PLSG Is Family
This year’s experience within the Peer Led Support Group of SAPAC has been nothing short of moving and phenomenal, and throughout these last several months, we have watched PLSG meetings grow in size tremendously. We are thankful for our campus community, as well as our fellow SAPAC volunteers, coordinators, and the professional staff for suggesting our support group as an option for survivor care. We have made a great effort to create a space that is welcoming and compassionate- but also many times a great deal of fun and full of positive energy! As a team, we set out on facilitating this group with a few essential goals in mind to help us along this journey. The first one was to keep the survivor’s best interest, safety, and sense of community as our top priority. We also aspired to facilitate dialogue and activities that would be supportive and healing for everyone. Lastly, it was of the utmost importance to us that all participants are able to engage in self-care while in PLSG meetings, but also for us all to feel confident in providing ourselves with self-care- no matter where we are on campus. We are happy to say that our meetings have become much greater than we ever expected!
Some of our most memorable meetings were “The Importance of Play,” making our PLSG music playlist as a group, and of course creating glitter jars (one of the PLSG traditions that we have loved continuing on). Even with our many planned out activities and discussion topics, sessions have also been guided by a subject matter cultivated by the participants. Leading a support group does not have to mean steering, but can instead be a great opportunity for us as co-facilitators to learn and participate simply as a source of guidance. It has been dynamic to see everyone become comfortable and confident in bringing about their own ideas for topics and group activities, and dually serves as a source of creative inspiration for us as well.
The greatest accomplishment overall was not a goal that we had set for ourselves, and has come about in an organic and beautiful way. PLSG has grown into a close community, much like a group of friends and family. We feel a strong bond with one another, and find ourselves crying, talking, and laughing together as though we had known and trusted each other for years! We provide each other with a sense of support that some of us have never been able to find on Michigan’s campus. For that, we can confidently say that we are thankful. PLSG has helped us to become better advocates, facilitators, peers, and friends. We are so happy to have had this journey with SAPAC, and grateful to the PLSG “family” who has helped to mold our meetings into the supportive space and network that we have today.
Thank you again, to all of SAPAC, and our awesome supervisors this year, including Amy Burandt, Sean Smith, our current intern supervisor, and Becca Anderson, who guided us as an intern during the fall semester of 2014. You all have provided tremendous amounts of support, love, and advice throughout this experience. PLSG could not have succeeded as a necessary resource for survivors on this campus without you. To our participants, we thank you for trusting and supporting us as well, as we had an incredibly wonderful year being with all of you! We have had an awesome year with SAPAC overall, and look ahead to a positive future for the PLSG family.
Shani Campbell & Kara Kundert
PLSG Co-Facilitators 2014-2015