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Peer support is the act of connecting with others who are in a similar situation. By drawing on your own experience, you can share stories and feelings with people who ‘just get it’, providing each other with friendship and understanding.

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The experience [of joining an MS peer support group] was life-changing for me. Not only did I receive great and relevant information and education about MS, but I was also no longer isolated and alone.

Nichole, Peer Support Participant

Studies have found that peer support increases life expectancy, improves self-efficacy and self-care skills and reduces use of emergency services. Providers of peer support also report less depression, heightened self-esteem, and improved quality of life.

Our trained peer support volunteers are people with experience of living with multiple sclerosis or caring for someone who is.

Face-to-face MS support groups

We have peer support groups that meet regularly in the ACT, New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria – usually fortnightly or monthly.

Each group is self-directed. Some groups get together for a casual coffee, some have discussions on specific topics and others engage in activities like singing and exercise – there is something for everybody!

You can find a peer support group in your area by downloading the state listings below:

If you can’t find a group in your area, get in touch with us and we can discuss other options.

One-on-one over the phone

No matter where you live, you can connect with a peer support volunteer one-on-one over the phone. You can choose to speak with someone who is living with multiple sclerosis or a fellow loved one of someone who is.

You will have a set number of calls over a period – usually 6 to 8 calls over a few months.

For more information and to get started get in touch with our MS Plus team.

MS telegroups

If you’d prefer to connect virtually, you can join a telegroup. Groups generally have a particular focus or topic of interest.

Current telegroups:

  • Under 30s after hours – first Thursday night of every month from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
  • Men’s support group – first Thursday of the month from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm or last Tuesday of the month from 12 pm to 1 pm or first Friday of the month from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
  • Women’s support group – fourth Monday of the month from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
  • Women in the 40 to 64 age group – third Tuesday of the month from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm
  • Over 65’s group – first Tuesday of the month from 10:30 am to 11:30 am or second Tuesday of the month from 10:30 am to 11:30 am
  • After hours group for working people – second Wednesday night of the month from 7 pm to 8 pm
  • General support groups – second Monday of the month from 7 pm to 8 pm or second Tuesday of the month from 7 pm to 8 pm
  • Mums with MS support group – second Tuesday of the month from 1pm to 2pm
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia group – second Thursday of every month from 2 pm to 3pm.
  • Queer and Gender Diverse Virtual Support Group - last Thursday of every month from 7pm to 8pm.
  • Over 65s Telegroup - Last Tuesday of the month, 10:30am - 11:30am.

For more information on our telegroups contact our Plus Connect team.

Telelinks take place via phone and are short-term programs facilitated by our peer support coordinators. Taking place over 6 weekly 90-minute sessions, guest speakers share information on topics to prompt discussion and learning for the group.

If you’re new to peer support, have an interest in a particular topic or can’t commit to an ongoing group, Telelinks are a great option. We send out the details of each Telelink to our registered clients by email. If you’re not sure if you’re registered or want to find out about any upcoming Telelinks that would suit you have a chat with our team.

Become a peer support volunteer

We’re always seeking new people from the MS community to take on the role of peer support volunteers. You can be a group facilitator, provide one-on-one phone support or moderate our Facebook groups. To be a volunteer, you need to:

  • have been living with multiple sclerosis for more than 2 years
  • have a positive approach to living with multiple sclerosis
  • be a positive ambassador for MS Plus.

If you’re interested, we’ll interview you and you will be subject to a police check. We’ll then provide you with full training and support. To find out more give our team a call on 1800 042 138 or email [email protected].

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