Hi, I’m Sue, Chairperson and a Peer Support Facilitator of the Families Overcoming Addiction support group.
I have a passion for working with families who have a loved one with addiction issues, to help them find ways to minimise their stress and enhance their well-being. I’ve been working with people effected by the addiction of a family member since 2006 and for 11 of those years, worked in a hospital Drug and Alcohol Service as Family and Whanau Advisor.
The Family Whanau Advisor role provided an opportunity for me to advocate for family inclusive practice in treatment facilities and to take a systemic approach to helping addiction services, locally, regionally and nationally, to improve the way they work with families and whanau.
The Families Overcoming Addiction group takes a solution focused approach and I use my training in the Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) model, Trauma-Informed Care, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused Group Facilitation, Mindfulness and my own lived experience as a family member with a loved one with addiction to assist those families who attend the group. I believe that all families have strengths which can be utilised in overcoming the challenges addiction may present and through support, information and sharing with others in similar circumstances, we can all find ways to improve our well-being.
My name is Angela and my son has struggled with his mental health and addiction for 15 years. I attended the FAD’s Support Group for several years before becoming a founding member of Families Overcoming Addiction in NP, at its inception in 2017. I am Secretary of the Board, I became a Peer Support Facilitator in May 2021 and I co-facilitate a group supporting families in South Taranaki.
It is heart-breaking to watch a loved family member struggling with day to day living, while battling their addiction and it is so important for us, as families, to stay as well and as strong as we can, in order to be able to support our person and be their cheerleader as they navigate life. It is equally important to learn coping skills so that we help our person in the right way, without enabling them to stay stuck in their addiction and to learn strategies so-as we don’t ride the rollercoaster with them if their choice of lifestyle causes a downward spiral. Families Overcoming Addiction teaches us the skills to use and, in turn, provides fabulous support from other like-minded peers who are travelling the same journey and we realise we are not alone.
My name is Chris and I have been a Families Overcoming Addiction group member for approximately 8 years and a founding member of the Board for 4 years as Co-treasurer.
The weekly group meetings have been a very valuable part (life-saving to say the least) of my journey in helping me navigate how to deal with and to communicate with my person who has used drugs to help them cope with life.
I enjoy spending time with my family and grandchildren and getting out and about exploring the walking tracks in and around the beautiful Naki.
Hi there, I’m Kirsty. Co-treasurer and Co- facilitator for the Stratford group and a founding member of Families Overcoming Addiction. I previously attended the FAD”s group for a number of years before it became FOA, recognising the value of peer-led support to walk beside family as we navigate the complex needs of addiction.
Having lived experience helps us truly understand what others are going through and makes important connections to impart our knowledge, support and compassion with a solution focus.
Formally a nurse, I now work in the natural health sector and bring those aspects for a holistic approach, with a focus on self care as an integral part of this journey. I am passionate about this work in helping others gain strength and healing for the best possible outcomes for family and the wider community.
Hi, I’m Karen. I have been involved with this amazing peer support group for over 10 years. My 29 year old son has an opioid addiction and it has been a very difficult time for him and our family. With the support of Families Overcoming Addiction weekly meetings our family has improved our relationships and communication. I am proud to be part of this supportive and compassionate group. My role on the FOA Board is primarily Grants Administrator.
My name is Raewyn and I have been involved with Families Overcoming Addiction for about 9 years, a Board member for 2 years as Resource Manager and also offering family peer support.
Addiction has gripped our family life for the past 25 years.
Families Overcoming Addiction (FOA) has helped me engage in understanding with hope and taught me the skills needed to change the way I meet addiction.