For Connection Program Volunteers - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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For Connection Program Volunteers


Resources and support for National MS Society Connection Program volunteers

There are nearly 1,200 Society affiliated self-help groups across the United States engaging some 30,000 people with MS, family members and friends. In addition, there are approximately 200 peer support volunteers working one-on-one with people affected by MS. The Society recognizes the valuable role self-help groups and one-on-one peer support connections play in addressing the informational, emotional and social support needs of people living MS. We also recognize that well trained and supported volunteers are key to the ongoing delivery of this core service.

The following resources are available to assist and support you in your leadership role:

Guidelines for managing and leading self-help groups: a manual for National MS Society self-help group leaders (.pdf), a handbook for leaders containing group management guidelines, strategies for maintaining group member engagement, managing difficult behaviors, and tools for measuring group effectiveness. Download the handbook (.pdf).

Connecting with others living with MS (.pdf) is a brochure showcasing the Society's available connection programs.

Create a Community Connections program in your area to enable more connections between peers and the Society.  Click here for more information. 

See the impact of Society connection programs by viewing the summary of the 2014 connections evaluation study.  Promote the 2015 evaluation study by providing the 2015 flyer at your next group meeting. 

Volunteer telelearnings

Talking about the tough stuff

Date of Training: 3/2015

Recording (.mp3)

Handout (.pdf)

Understanding the Society's position on medical marijuana

Date of training: 7/2014

Recording (.mp3)

Handout (.pdf)

The impact of cognitive changes on the peer relationship

Date of training: 3/2014

Handouts (.pdf)

Recording (.mp3)

Setting up online groups

Date of training: 11/2013

Handout (.pdf)

Webinar link (recommended to open in Internet Explorer and click "Playback in Browser")

Applying solution focused conversations to peer relationships

Date of training: 9/2013

Recording (.mp3)

Handout (.pdf)

Using positive psychology in your life

Date of training: 5/2013

Recording (.mp3)

Handout (.pdf)

Managing difficult behaviors in peer relationships

Date of Training: 2/2013

Recording (.mp3)

Handout (.ppt)

Powering the National MS Society's research investments: the peer review process

Date of training: 8/2012

Recording (.mp3)

Maintaining healthy boundaries in the peer relationship

Date of training: 6/2012

Recording (.mp3)

Making comfortable treatment decisions: tips for thinking clearly about benefits and risks

Date of training: 2/2012

Recording (.mp3)

Handout (.pdf)

Group meeting toolkits

To facilitate dialogue and discussion around issues important to people living with MS, the Society has developed meeting toolkits for use in your meetings. These toolkits are intended to provide a framework for discussion around critical topics.  

"DreaMS: My Journey with Multiple Sclerosis" by Kristie Salerno Kent

DreaMS e-book (.pdf)

DreaMS book discussion guide (.pdf)

*Book and discussion guide written by Kristie Salerno Kent and made available by Acorda Therapeutics. All material has been approved by the Society for volunteer use. The Society was not involved in the development or content of materials.    

Advocacy activities for groups

Toolkit (.pdf)

Live fully, live well: a wellness program for people with MS and their support partners

Facilitator's guide (.pdf)

Resource guide (.pdf)

Website with videos and personal call to action worksheets