Please do not e-mail a Coordinator in a city that is not where you live
since they are ONLY responsible for their own local community.
(BAN is NOT for email-only contact. It's for attending meetings.)
(BAN only exists in areas where someone has volunteered to be the local Coordinator.)
*If there is no Coordinator listed for your area, you could volunteer to start a local group.*
BAN coordinators are responsible to respond to initial inquiries about BAN in your area that will come in because your BAN email is listed on this website. You choose a neutral email such as "yourcityintheUK-BAN@yahoo.com" . This way your own identity can remain confidential.
When you sign up we provide the information on how to answer these inquiries. (You do not engage in ongoing correspondence with them, unless you both just want to.) When you have yourself and at least 2 other people committed to attend a meeting, you find a meeting location and choose the date time, and let the others know.
How to find a meeting place is also clearly laid out in the instructions you will receive. We have suggested meeting outlines for you, and a set of guidelines. No one is the leader. No one tells anyone what to do. No one plays counselor or therapist.
Together you share what has been helpful to you so far, and offer encouragement, understanding and support. The coordinator has access to a private online discussion forum for all the BAN coordinators worldwide where you can ask questions and get advice about how to run your meetings. At best you facilitate. Most BAN meetings are held once a month.
Here's the process for volunteering to be a Coordinator:
--Read all the information, beginning at BAN.
--Read what's involved in being a BAN Coordinator.
--Fill out and submit the Coordinator Sign-up Form.
When you submit the Sign-up Form, I give you access to a BAN Coordinators Private Page on the website - that is accessible ONLY by BAN Coordinators. The page provides links to a lot of information to help you in your role as a Coordinator.
The material available through the BAN Coordinators Private Page includes:
Overview of Role of Coordinator
Basic guide and support for your local effort
An eGroup mail-list for all Coordinators to share information/ideas for working with BAN
Role of Coordinator
Focuses on "preparing" to have meetings
Getting out the Word
Tips for using press releases and other ideas
for getting out the word
A brief overview of BAN information to distribute to anyone in your community (civic organizations, churches, etc.) in an effort to reach people other than through your Coordinators e-mail address posted on the Website on the "List of Cities"
The BAN Book
This is an overview of the basic information about BAN,
mostly taken from the material posted on the website;
excellent resource to be given or sent out to counselors,
religious or civic organizations, etc. in your community
to inform them about BAN
Sample Cover Letter
This is a sample letter that can serve as a cover letter for giving out the "BAN Book" if you want to provide it to any counselors/therapists in your area
Setting up and Facilitating BAN Meetings
Setting up Meetings
Focuses on the role of the coordinator in "preparing" to have meetings, including:
Some tips for facilitating meetings,
both the First meeting and later meetings
Purpose and Guidelines(Handout)
To distribute to those attending the first meeting
and to each new member who joins later...
so everyone will understand the overall goals of BAN
Topics to Discuss at Meetings
This is a group of 18 previous Questions of the Week
(and my Responses) that can serve as possible topics for discussion at meetings.
Meeting Discussion Guides
This is a group of 7 discussion guides contributed by one of our Coordinators, that provide specific guidance in discussing some key topics at meetings.
Articles about Affairs (posted on the Website)
Note the 16 Articles under the "Personally Recovering" section that may be useful as another resource as topics for meeting discussions.
This provides good perspective as you work with others in going through the slow, jerky road to recovery.
So if you'd like to volunteer to be a BAN Coordinator,
please submit the Sign-up Form.
Finally, if there is no city in your area (and you are not interested in volunteering),
you can periodically check the List of Cities to see if someone else has volunteered.
In the meantime, if you are struggling alone...
I encourage you to read EVERYTHING on my site - so that at least you can recognize that you are not alone - that many others have been and are going through this experience.
(The more you learn/understand, the better you'll be able to recover.)
I also encourage you to reach out to find SOMEONE you can confide in and talk to - even if it's not in a support group. The isolation is one of the most difficult factors that makes recovery more difficult.