Support Group

An image of male and female head with swirled lines representing communication thoughts back and forth from each person.

Why attend a Brain Injury Support Group?

Gray Matters 4U Support Groups presents interesting topics, fun and an environment where you will feel at home!

Heidi Lerner facilitates a support group for people living in the brain injury community. She helps participants to better understand and manage their symptoms. Heidi creates a trusting, fun-loving social atmosphere, one in which participants feel comfortable socializing with others with similar experiences and concerns. Attendees of Gray Matters 4U Support Group feel that what they have to say is valued and that their input helps others.

In the group, Heidi helps survivors develop interpersonal skills, improve communication, as well as boost self-confidence. Personal empowerment via self-advocacy is the tone of the group. During group we check in with everyone and problem solve when needed. Participants share personal stories and successful solutions associated with brain injury. The group helps participants to better accommodate for challenges, to improve one’s life. Gray Matters 4U Support Group facilitates general rehabilitation post-injury.

Brain Injury Support Groups: Feel supported and encouraged. We offer support to: individuals, families and groups in community:

  • Be with others who can understand you
  • Exchange information, feelings and personal experiences
  • Be encouraged by others who have overcome similar difficulties
  • See that you are not in on this alone
  • Feel less isolated and more empowered to deal with daily challenges
  • Come to be grateful for what you’ve got and how far you’ve come
  • Express yourself and be heard
  • Exchange and strengthen your attitude
  • Find direction for your uncertainties
  • Learn new strategies
  • Communicate
  • Feel useful by contributing and bringing meaning to others
  • Better understand and manage the effects of your injury
  • Practice socializing
  • Enhance your interpersonal skills
  • Feel better able to cope with your injury
  • Develop your self-confidence and
  • Enrich your motivation to persevere

Gray Matters 4U Brain Injury Support Initiative

Gray Matters 4U provides group support once a month in San Diego, CA. This group has existed for over ten years. Attendees gain much needed insight and coping skills attending these groups. Another level and means of support is the Gray Matters 4U Mentor Program. Here mentors are trained and made available to work with survivors post hospital discharge. During the critical discharge phase dysfunctional behaviors can be “nipped in the bud”. Gray Matters 4U’s Mentoring Program provides a genuine resource for people who have sustained a brain injury. Mentors themselves are long-term survivors of brain injury. Just their presence and understanding serves their partners in helping them cope. Mentors share what has helped them in regaining daily living skills and they pass on this valuable information to their partners.

Mentors familiarize their partners with suitable accommodation options with a goal of independent living. Additionally, Mentors refer partners to local resources for services. To further a person’s sense of wellness, Mentors help their partners cope with their condition. Many of the psychological or social symptoms are less obvious to the average eye, and therefore they can be more enduring and hard to address. Psycho-social stressors can be emotional, social, psychological as well as behavioral. Working together, one on one, Mentors can mirror and identify issues that would otherwise be difficult for the survivor to acknowledge. Sometimes, awareness of a problem can resolve it. If not, persistent issues can then be addressed in greater depth.