The last issue of NA Today had a special feature on our efforts to carry the message to jails and institutions. I reproduce an article here from our Outreach chair detailing our success in carrying the message to addicts in prison in a virtual format.
The next issue of NA Today focuses on the growth of online recovery. If you feel you have something to contribute on this topic, send submissions to email@example.com
(The cartoon is just a bonus! Enjoy!)
The Development of Virtual H&I Meetings.
Last year the Outreach sub-committee and the indigenous sub-committee travelled to Darwin to put on workshops around carrying the message with cultural sensitivity to indigenous Australians. A tough topic and beautiful learning for all involved. While up there we presented to numerous facilities letting them know what NA is and what we can offer these facilities. We had been toying with the idea of a virtual H&I for quite some time. We presented to a facility that had previously been closed to having NA attend there. Our message shared from the heart was heard by the heart, and we had a germ of an idea.
We started doing a Virtual H&I each week—video both ways. Was amazing to watch our message of hope touch the hearts of the clients at this facility.
We recently had some members from Kentucky (USA) contact to share what had worked and not worked for us regarding virtual meetings. With our support they have started one over there and I recently had the privilege of sharing at their H&I.
As a result of our virtual meetings, the facility we have been doing this at has recently started taking their clients to the local meetings in Darwin. We have had a small struggling meeting in Victoria start to join in to the Virtual H&I as part of their meeting format. We have had speakers from the U.S.A., India, New Zealand and Australia carrying our message of hope.
We can only grow from here. We can potentially service up to 20 facilities at a time and wholly invite PR chairs who have established relationships with addiction service providers to contact us. We would love to add as many facilities as we can.
Between this, the NA@Home meetings, and a recently made Radio CSA aimed at rural areas, we are now starting to see how we can reach out to places NA has not previously been able to reach. With the huge improvements to the website and our phone line service by the IT subcommittee ease of access to these resources at its strongest point in our region’s history. We have already seen the increase in face to face meetings from addicts hearing the message through these platforms.
The virtual H&I also provides opportunities to do this type of service for those who are isolated, or disabled, or single parents, etc, etc. It has been beautiful to see how an isolated addict not only gets this service opportunity but has the strongest message for another in isolation.
A lot of us involved are excited to see how technology and fellowship development is breaking down the geographical boundaries. No addict need die from the horrors of addiction without hearing our message.
As an addict that got clean through online meetings in a place that at the time was 4000km from the nearest face to face meeting, it is a privilege to be part of this service and seeing the ripple on into addict’s lives. It is how we thank you. “My gratitude speaks when I share and care the NA way”.
YILS, Brett (outreach chair)
P.S. If anyone is interested in being a speaker, or has a facility in mind that may be keen to be part of this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org