The Bernie Banton Foundation’s
Online Support Chat Rooms Groups + Information & News Pages
OUR ‘SECRET’ ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP CHAT ROOMS
(Facilitated by the Bernie Banton Foundation’s Mesothelioma Asbestos Related Support (MARS) Unit)
The Bernie Banton Foundation’s MARS (Mesothelioma and Asbestos Related Support) Dust Diseases Support Team, have been at the forefront of asbestos-related disease online support since 2010. The Foundation’s Support Co-ordinator, Rod Smith experienced the benefits that can be derived from social media networks, whilst living the mesothelioma journey with his late wife Julie. This led Rod to being one of the earliest proponents in running social media based, actual support groups.
The value of being able to chat and fellowship on Facebook to someone virtually 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether it be to someone in your own backyard or on the other side of the country; or when all those around you are sleeping, is immeasurable.
The MARS Australia Team members have walked the mesothelioma and other asbestos dust related disease journeys, and as such can equate with the path members are on. If questions are raised in the groups that can’t be answered by group members then MARS Team members will endeavour to find the answer from reputable sources. Team members monitor and facilitate the support group site as much as possible – and will respond and participate when time permits.
The secret support groups are specifically only for Australians and New Zealanders (including people from other countries who are residing permanently in either Australia or New Zealand).
The following groups are set up as ‘SECRET’ which means only members of the group can find the group, see who is in the group, and what is posted.
- The MARS Family Q&A Community Forum site is specifically for sufferers, carers and immediate family members of those living the mesothelioma cancer, or other asbestos or occupational dust related diseases journey. Being a member driven site we encourage interaction on it so members can receive and impart knowledge and hopefully gain from the experience of others.
- The MARS Carers Support Chat Room – This group has been created for the primary carers of sufferers living with either mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other asbestos or occupational dust related diseases. It has been set up to establish a forum for carers to be able to come together to chat about things they might feel uncomfortable talking about with the person they care for, family members or with other sufferers on the same forum.
- The MARS Sufferers Support Chat Room is strictly only for sufferers living with mesothelioma asbestos cancer, or another asbestos or occupational dust related disease. It has been set up to create a forum for sufferers to be able to come together to chat about things they might feel uncomfortable talking about with the person who is their carer, family members or with other carers on the same forum.
- The MARS Daughters and Sons Support Chat Room is for daughters and sons of sufferers living with mesothelioma asbestos cancer, or another asbestos or occupational dust related disease. It has been set up to establish a forum for daughters and sons to be able to come together to chat about things they might feel uncomfortable talking about with the sufferer, family members or with other sufferers on the same forum.
- The MARS Moving Forward Bereaved Group is for those who have been bereaved due to their husband, wife or partner passing after having received a mesothelioma cancer, or another asbestos or occupational dust disease diagnosis. It has been set up to create a forum for members to be able to come together to chat about their feelings, grieve and move forward with others who are walking, or have walked a similar path. Being a member driven site we encourage interaction on it. This group is in addition to the Foundation’s 24/7 Support Helpline 1800 031 731 (Australia only) or +61 418 319 757 (both Australians and New Zealanders).
- The MARS Daughters & Sons Grief Support Chat Room is for daughters and sons who have been bereaved due to their mother, father or close family member passing after having received a mesothelioma cancer, or another asbestos or other occupational dust disease diagnosis. It has been set up to create a forum for members to be able to come together to chat about their feelings, grieve and move forward with others who are walking, or have walked a similar path.
- The MARSupport New Zealand Community Forum is the Bernie Banton Foundation’s MARS Dust Diseases Support membership group site specifically only for New Zealand sufferers living the mesothelioma cancer, or another asbestos or occupational dust related diseases journey, and their carers and immediate family members. It has been set up to give New Zealanders their own space to talk about issues specific to New Zealand.
To find out how to join these ‘SECRET’ groups, please scroll further down the page – you will find out how to join, after the ‘Community Commenting Policy’ section.
PUBLIC FACEBOOK INFORMATION & NEWS PAGES
(Click on the titles to take you straight to the desired page)
COMMUNITY COMMENTING POLICY
By participating in any of the Foundation’s groups, you are agreeing to abide by our community commenting policy.
- What is discussed on a group must stay within that group, it must not be copied, transmitted or conveyed verbally to any person or entity outside the group.
We reserve the right to delete posts containing any of the following elements:
- personal attacks
- willful misinformation
- Articles emanating from web and social media sites sponsored by specialist asbestos or dust litigators
- any advertising
- self interest, or own group, or organisation promotion
- off-topic / irrelevant posts
- anything that infringes on copyrights or trademarks
- promoting illegal or questionable activities
- promoting treatments that have not been vetted in peer reviewed respected scientific journals
- any comment that is felt to be inappropriate or offensive
- anything that is contrary to the vision, mission or objectives of the Bernie Banton Foundation
Members who violate this policy, will be deleted from the support group.
HOW TO REGISTER AND JOIN
MARS DUST DISEASES SUPPORT AUSTRALIA & NZ ONLINE ‘SECRET’ SUPPORT GROUPS
To register to join, contact Rod Smith and let him know you would like to be a member of the MARS ‘Secret’ Support Groups’ and how you qualify to be a member. Importantly, please also include verifiable contact details, including your actual name, your Facebook name (if different from your actual name), the address you live at, your email address, and a phone number you are able to be contacted on. You will also need to ask to ‘Add Friend’ Rod on Facebook, to enable him to join you to the group(s) you are eligible to join. To see how to do so scroll further down this page for step by step instructions or simply click here to go direct to Rod’s Facebook page and then click Add Friend in the header section.
You can contact Rod via one of the two methods listed below:
Phone the Freecall 24/7 Support Helpline
1800 031 731 (Australia only) or +61 418 319 757
Please REMEMBER to include your verifiable contact details, including your email address, a phone number you are able to be contacted on, and your actual living address. You cannot be added to the group without this information first being supplied and being verified – unfortunately we cannot make exceptions to this rule.
Once on Rod’s page, click on the Add Friend button to become his friend.
Click on the notification icon, you will then see a list of your notifications drop down (appear). Go down your notifications until you see see one that will look like the example graphic below, it will say the name of the support group – Mesothelioma Family Q&A Family Chat Room (not the one used as an example).
Click on the notification, this will take you to the Support Group page, at the very top of the page there will be a message for you saying you have been invited to the Support Group (see the example graphic below), simply click on the blue Join group button – you will then be a member.
We thank you for becoming a MARS Australia Online Support Group member, we sincerely hope the support group, your fellow members and the Mars Australia Network Team helps you to walk your individual journey path, providing support, hope and importantly, having no regrets. – Rod Smith, Support Co-ordinator, Bernie Banton Foundation
If you, or a loved one has been diagnosed
with an ASBESTOS or other DUST RELATED DISEASE and you would like to talk to somebody who knows what it feels like to be in similar circumstances to what you are in, whether you are a sufferer or carer, please phone the Foundation’s 24/7 Support Helpline Freecall® number: 1800 031 731
Note: The Bernie Banton Foundation is not accredited to provide advice. The information and/or advice provided is for assistance only. The advice of a qualified specialist should always be sought before making legal or medical decisions.