Tonya Ingram, a social worker from SMC Physicians Clinic, is the guest speaker for “Making the Most of Retirement” held at the Stillwater Public Library on June 16 at 1:30 p.m. Ingram will teach participants of the monthly program how to start and maintain support groups.
“Support groups bring people with a common struggle or challenge together,” said Ingram. “They often offer an environment which helps people learn ways to overcome their challenges—either physically or emotionally, as well as a way for people to emotionally connect with others who are ‘walking in their shoes,’ so to speak.”
While many support groups are already in existence in Stillwater, some needs cannot be met by current groups.
“You might be interested in joining a support group if you find yourself struggling with or coping with a particular life situation,” said Ingram. “If you cannot find a support group for an issue you or people you care about are struggling with, you might want to consider starting one yourself.”
During the presentation, Ingram will discuss current support groups active in Stillwater and help participants understand the issues that need to be considered in starting their own support groups. Participants will also learn how to keep a support group active and thriving, which according to Ingram can be the hardest part of starting a group.
“One of the most difficult things about keeping a support group active can be finding new topics and speakers to keep your group interested,” said Ingram. “This is especially important if your group is speaker driven.”
Ingram has an undergraduate degree in psychology from John Brown University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Oklahoma. She has been a social worker with the SMC Physicians Clinic social worker for two and a half years and with the SMC Cancer Center for three years.
During her time at both clinics, she has referred people to various support groups in the Stillwater area. She has also facilitated the hospital’s breast cancer support group (Bosom Buddies) during her time at the Cancer Center.
“Making the Most of Retirement” is a monthly program coordinated by the OSU Emeriti. The program addresses topics of interest to retirees and those who are nearing retirement.
The next program takes places on July 18 with Dr. Timothy Walker who will discuss the GriefShare program.
The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.). Visit the library online at http://library.stillwater.org.