(Facilitated by the Bernie Banton Foundation’s Mesothelioma Asbestos Related Support (MARSupport) Unit)
The Bernie Banton Foundation’s MARSupport 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 Australia or New Zealand; or when all those around you are sleeping, is immeasurable.
MARSupport 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 MARSupport 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 as, and when time permits.
The MARSupport groups are only for Australians and New Zealanders (including people from other countries who are residing permanently in either Australia or New Zealand) – unless otherwise stated.
The following support ‘chat room’ and ‘group’ sites are set up as ‘CLOSED’ which means any person on Facebook can find the groups, but only members of the group can see who is in the group, and what is posted or commented.
To find any of our groups, simply click on the group title (below). To join any of the MARSupport CHAT ROOMS or GROUPS, please read to the end of the MARSupport groups section below and click where it says to.
ONLINE SUPPORT CHAT ROOMS
These groups are NOT for new members who are bereaved. There are separate groups for bereaved Carers and for bereaved Daughters and Sons (please see further down the page).
- The MARSupport Family Q&A Support Chat Room site is specifically for sufferers, carers and immediate family members of those living the mesothelioma cancer or another asbestos related disease 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 MARSupport Carers Support Chat Room – This group has been created for the primary carers of sufferers living with either mesothelioma asbestos cancer or another asbestos related disease. 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 MARSupport Sufferers Support Chat Room is strictly only for sufferers living with mesothelioma asbestos cancer or another asbestos 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 MARSupport Daughters and Sons Support Chat Room is for daughters and sons of sufferers living with mesothelioma asbestos cancer or another asbestos 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.
ONLINE BEREAVED SUPPORTGROUPS
- The MARSupport Bereaved Carers Support Group is for those who have been bereaved due to their husband, wife or partner passing after having received a mesothelioma asbestos cancer or another asbestos related 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.
- The MARSupport Daughters & Sons Grief & Loss Group is for daughters and sons who have been bereaved due to their mother, father or close family member passing after having received a mesothelioma asbestos cancer or another asbestos related 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.
APPLYING TO JOIN THE MARSupport GROUPS
All persons applying to become a member of any of the groups must first read the SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNITY USE POLICY, complete and submit a GROUPS MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM and ask to ‘Add Friend‘ the MARSupport Co-ordinator, Rod Smith on Facebook. Any person applying to join any of the groups, who does not complete the above joining process within 24 hours [or does not qualify to be a member of the group(s)] will have their request to join, automatically deleted.
Once an application has been submitted, and if it appears the applicant is eligible to join the group, as part of the registration process the Bernie Banton Foundation MARSupport Co-ordinator will contact the applicant by phone, to have a talk about their reasons for wanting to be a member of the group, and the journey they are experiencing.
MULTIPLE USER FACEBOOK ACCOUNT MEMBERS
If a person’s Facebook account is used by more than one person in a family then that person will be restricted to joining the MARSupport Family Q&A Chat Room (if approved).
EXISTING MEMBERS ADDING PEOPLE TO GROUPS
We ask that members of any of the Bernie Banton Foundation MARSupport groups, DO NOT add family members to the group(s) they are a member of, without first talking to the family member about doing so. If a MARSupport group member does add a family member to a group, and the joining process (described above) is not carried out within 24 hours (or the person added does not qualify to be a member of the group), the request to join will be automatically deleted.
JOIN THE MARSupport GROUPS
PUBLIC FACEBOOK INFORMATION & NEWS PAGES and MEMBERSHIP GROUP
(Click on the titles to take you straight to the desired page)
BERNIE BANTON FOUNDATION (the Bernie Banton Foundation’s ‘home’ public page)
MESOTHELIOMA and ASBESTOS RELATED SUPPORT AUSTRALIA (information public page)
ASBESTOS AWARENESS AUSTRALIA (information & news public page)
BERNIE BANTON FOUNDATION COMMUNITY HUB (the Foundation’s membership ‘Public’ group)
If you, or a loved one has been diagnosed
with MESOTHELIOMA ASBESTOS CANCER or another ASBESTOS 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.
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.