New App Helps You Help Suffering Loved Ones

By: Joni Boyd

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of comments like “Let me know if you need anything” when in the middle of a crisis, you’ll know just how important it is that friends and families know how to help, without relying on the person who is suffering, for information.

Dr Susan Palmer is a Psychologist with over 20 years experience in the public health sector.

Having witnessed countless people trying to manage crisis alone, she has created an app called ‘Gather My Crew’, a charity on a mission to help people, help people.

“We make it really easy to ask for, offer and coordinate help when someone is going through a really tough time,” Dr Susan said in an interview.

The ‘Gather My Crew’ app is free to download and is a fantastic way to rally around friends and family who are going through something difficult by providing the practical help they need.

Dr Susan has worked with many cancer patients, as well as people who have suffered trauma from an accident.

“What I would often witness is this disconnect between people who were going through something really challenging – and family, friends, neighbours, community who would say to them, “Let me know how I can help!” – but nothing ever happened,” she said.

“The whole point is to bridge that gap between the person who needs help – and their community who would provide the right help if only they knew how and what to do and when to do it – and really make that easier so people don’t go through these tough times alone.”

Proactive support in a crisis

“Most people don’t get the help they need,” Dr Susan said of those in trauma situations.

“93% of needs at home go unmet, when someone is going through a crisis.

“That’s because we rely on our health services a lot and paid services and we don’t think that there’s other things that need to be done.

“If you’re not providing help to someone you love, who’s had cancer or an accident or a stroke or is recovering at home… they’re not getting it.

“That’s something really important to think about it – we have to provide this help because they’re not getting it elsewhere.”

Don’t say “Let me know how I can help”

“When you say, “Let me know how I can help,” our people, our community and the people that we talk to tell us that’s the most unhelpful thing you can possibly say,” Dr Susan said.

“It’s really important that you stop, think about what you might need in their situation.

“Be really specific and think about them and offer something really practical.”

How Gather My Crew app works

The app, which is free to download, has been developed to be very easy to use.

Here’s a quick guide, to get you started:

  1. Download the Gather My Crew app from your app store.
  2. Set up your profile by adding some simple details.
  3. Invite everyone who has offered to help, by sending them a link or text.
  4. When they click on the link, they can join your crew.
  5. Answer a quick list of questions to help people understand what you’re going through.
  6. Your crew will come up with ideas for the types of help you may need.
  7. These go into a calendar and task list that your crew can all see.
  8. Crew members can now click and accept tasks.

Why can it be hard to know what to do?

“It’s different if you’re going through treatment or if you’re recovering at home,” Dr Susan said.

“It’s different if you’ve got children or not.

“It’s different if you live alone or if you’ve got a big family around you.”

It’s different for each and every person and situation, which is why Gather My Crew is making a huge difference for people all around Australia.

Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

About the Author: Joni Boyd is a writer, based in the Hawkesbury Region of NSW. She is passionate about the power of stories shared, to transform lives.

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