Stroke Support Group: An ASPIRE! Mentorship Project in a Rural Setting
thesisposted on 01.01.2016, 00:00 by Anya Tracy
I began my participation in the ASPRE! mentorship and leadership program in the College of Health Sciences in the spring of 2013, my freshman year of college. During my second year of the program, I decided I wanted to focus how Speech Language Pathologists and communication disorder professions are represented in the Laramie community as well as the leadership opportunities available. This began my involvement as a co-mentor of the Laramie Stroke Support group with faculty member and clinic director of the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic, Lynda Coyle M.S. CCC-SLP. The Laramie Stroke Support group focuses on aspects of support for caregivers, stroke survivors as well as people with other neurological disorders. The group brings in various speakers, provides a safe environment for discussion, and incorporates fun activities into its monthly meetings. Living in rural Wyoming presents unique access challenges for a stroke support group in terms of knowledgeable professionals, available resources and proximity to others with the same experiences. Participating in the Laramie Stroke Support Group as a part of my ASPIRE! project has not only taught me how to effectively facilitate a support group meeting, but also how to be resourceful in the selection of speakers and activities available in a rural environment. I have also learned about the importance of following through and providing an avenue to a support system whenever a caregiver or someone who has directly experienced trauma is ready. It is important to not only be an excellent professional, but also leader and visionary in the broader community.