On January 17th at the Wichita VA, the power of a peer support group demonstrated its importance. One of my goals entering into advocating for blinded Veterans involved establishing support groups throughout the state. A peer support group transfers the power from traditional medical or other professionals and into the hands of those living with the condition. It provides us with control over the information shared, questions to be answered, and ability to socialize with those like us, thus removing feelings of being alone.
I am very proud to say that the group consisted of 20 or so Veterans, many of whom did not realize they had so many peers. The energy in the room maintained a strong and engaged presence, with a few hoping to continue at its termination. .
We must thank Sharon and Judy who operate the Low Vision clinic at the Wichita VA for hosting this group. I know it will be the first of many. We already lined up the agenda for the next several months with information and subject matter experts on transportation, entertainment resources, VA benefits and services, and many other topics.
This support group is not the only one in Kansas for visually impaired Veterans. As of right now, all four VA medical centers have a monthly meeting. While I have full list on the home page, here it is incase you missed it:
Kansas City VA
• Second Thursday of each month at 130
• Third Wednesday of each month at 1030
• First Tuesday of each month at 1000
• Third Friday of each month at 1430