Home > The BFRB Blog > Meet the Leaders: Jennifer, BFRB Thunder Bay

The Meet the Leaders Series is an opportunity to learn some information about your peer support leaders before you attend a meeting.

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Hi all! I have lived in Northwestern Ontario all my life born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario beautiful country we have about 113 thousand people here plus outlying towns and native reserves in the area.

I am going to be 40 years old this year and I have been off work now for 4 years on medical disability. I have quite a few other issues (medically) but I have psoriasis (25 years) and eczema (recently diagnosed), I also had severe acne when I was younger. These all give me reasons to pick at something!

I learned to pick from my mother; she used to pick my dads pimples and she would always clean our ears by the window (so she had good light) with Q-tips and toothpicks and teach us how to pop certain things. Once the psoriasis came out it was scratch heaven and it all started from there. Nothing got so bad until I got some scalp psoriasis and I started picking there until there were really big scabs and would pick and I had quite the sores noticeable as fellow colleagues thought maybe I was doing cocaine because of the raw scratching marks. It was hard to get my hair done and explain to my hairdresser my issues I would often make up stories!

My goal is to try to keep my mind off examining my skin and focusing on anything else and that is why it is so important for a support group there are people out there that need to talk and get together with like-minded people. I just hope it happens for us here in Thunder Bay!

I have not meet one person yet in Thunder Bay with BFRBs so I would be so excited just to start talking with a few people, even if they didn’t want to meet up in a group setting. I’m here for support and to talk.

I have taken a Peer Support training course through OPDI core essentials program it was a one-week intensive in class and 50 hours of 1-on-1 peer support internship which I’m almost done! To be a Peer Supporter you must be a consumer survivor someone that has suffered from mental illness and/or addictions and has received help and training to offer support to others

We need a safe space where peers can feel comfortable discussing their fears, problems and anxieties without being judged. All of this in a confidential manner. I want to take some time to educate on BFRBs and new and up-coming treatments and information and usually each week we will zone in on one topic in depth more than another. Then we will have plenty of time as I feel it is so important to have time for the group to talk and share stories, concerns, we will always give 3 positives and 1 thing to change for each week and a goal for the next group. At the end of group we will have a “Busy Hands” time where you can bring your knitting, crochet, scrap booking, jewellery making, writing or anything that keeps your hands doing something positive and not on ourselves! This is an optional meeting time and is not a set meeting but I’m sure there will be discussion but it will not be guided in anyway by me.

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BFRB Thunder Bay has a Facebook page that you can like: https://www.facebook.com/ThunderBaysupportgroup

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