How to Start an Al-Anon Family Group
Al-Anon Family Groups are groups that consist of people who are dealing with someone else's drinking. Members are people who seek support from other members whose lives are affected by the drinking problems of a loved one. Al-Anon groups are non-denominational and strive to maintain member anonymity. An Al-Anon group provides gentle support for those dealing with someone's alcoholism and offers tools for coping with the day-to-day stresses of living with an alcoholic. You can also visit the main headquarter website to find out this information. Armed with the numbers of existing groups, determine whether another group in your area is needed. Existing area group members will be more than happy to talk to you and assist you. Contact the WSO (World Service Organization) to express interest in starting an Al-Anon Family Group in your area. You can do this via phone or online (see Resources). The registration form is only one page long and comes with directions. Locate a place to have your meeting. You can have meetings at religious facilities, schools, hospitals and other public facilities. Remember that Al-Anon is non-denominational and accepts members of all faiths or no faith at all. Make that clear when you requesting to use a religious facility. Decide the day and time your group will meet. Check with other groups in your surrounding area to help you determine what is the best time for your group. Just because there are other groups in your area, it does not mean that your group is not needed. Choose a name for your group. You can choose to use a name that reflects your location, day of meeting or a slogan from one of literature of the 12-step program. AFG or Al-Anon will follow this name. Some examples are Bay Area AFG, New Day AFG, Monday Night Al-Anon and Peace Seekers Beginners Group.