SERVICE OPPORTUNITY – HCP Working Group

Outreach to Health Care Professionals (HCP) Working Group

SUMMARY

  • Drive an information campaign in the Zurich area among local HCP
  • Create awareness OF AA as an ideal support community for HCP alcoholic patients and clients.
  • Outreach Working Group Kick-Off meeting (Wed. 15 June, 19:00-20:00)

Zoom Meeting link https://bit.ly/3NseEfB-HCP-KickOff                                                      Meeting ID: 837 8305 2169  PW: 658696

NEW WORKING GROUP SERVICE OPP

Following a membership Survey in Feb-Mar, we have formed an outreach working group (WG). The WG purpose is to reach local health professionals with information about AA, always seeking to establish the principle of attraction rather than promotion.

This is a great opportunity to do service. There are no minimum lengths of sobriety required to join.

WHAT WILL THIS WORKING GROUP DO?

In broad terms, we will drive an information campaign in the Zurich area to create awareness among local HCP that English-speaking AA offers an ideal support community for their alcoholic patients and clients.

It may  involve speaking at treatment facilities and schools, or contacting doctors and representatives at medical facilities to help them understand what AA is (and is not), how AA works and what we can (and cannot) offer. These are just a few examples of the types of service that we may get involved in. This “Intro to AA” slide deck is representative of our outreach message.

Zurich Outreach Working Group Kick-Off Meeting                                                            Wed. 15 June, 19:00-20:00 (ZOOM)                                                                                 Contact:                                                                                                                                Joel B. Health Liaison Officer for Continental European Region                                                Email: health.cer@aamail.org

HCP Outreach Working Group Formed – 3 Ways to Help

The recent Zurich membership Survey confirms we have a strong English-speaking fellowship available to support local Health Care Professionals (HCP). The results have been gathered into a slidedeck as an intro for HCP (doctors, therapists, clinic admins, etc.) to our local AA community.

DOES AA WORK?

The data offers proof AA works: 84% of members who took the survey have 1 or more years of sobriety and 40% have been sober 5 years or longer.

MISCONCEPTIONS PERSIST

But the HCP establishment in Switzerland rarely refers problem drinkers to AA and misconceptions about alcoholism and recovery persist. Just last week, a young man told me he once sought professional assistance for violent behavior when drinking. One of their counselors advised him to continue drinking – but limit the amount he drank. (if only ..)

Fortunately, he found AA and its solution before he lost his marriage or worse. Today he is a sober active member of our Zurich fellowship and has offered to get a meeting with those same counselors to share AA’s experience about alcoholism. Here’s another example:

DEEP BREATH B4 READING

On 03.03.2022, I received the following email to my health.cer@aamail.org inbox. The sender has granted her permission to share it with AA members:

I live in France, just outside of Geneva, Switzerland and am reading your very timely ArenA article. I am an active fellow in AA Geneva and have been sober for 13 years. I recently went on a 12th step call after someone called the helpline for a young woman who was drinking in a hotel room and could not stop. She took herself to ER (hospital) twice but was sent away. We called an ambulance who came and they decided she was ‘not bad enough’ to be taken to hospital. SOS médecin would not come to the hotel when we called. The psychiatric hospital gave her a date 6 days later to come and dry out. She was found dead in her bed by day 5. 

I am still reeling from the experience and now know how much work is needed with the medical professionals to educate them.

Name withheld upon request

ZURICH OUTREACH INITIATIVE

Whatever reaction you had about the death of another alcoholic reprinted above, I couldn’t help but think ‘that could have been me .. but for the grace of God’ and if you’re reading this post, you are living proof alcoholism does not have to be a death sentence. 

But in my service position as Health Liaison Officer (HLO) of English-speaking AA Continental European Region (CER) – of which Zurich Intergroup is a member, I can only assist members, groups and IGs to share best practice how to cooperate with local health professionals. 

One such initiative originated by a former pharma exec from AA Basel. Thanks to his HCP industry insight, pilot initiatives are now running in Basel and Zurich fellowships – with Geneva soon to follow. The lessons we’re learning will then be shared for local adaptation across our fellowships in Europe.

THREE WAYS TO TAKE ACTION

Are you willing to help problem drinkers around Zurich find AA through their HCP? 

If so, here are 3 ways to take action right now:

  1. Join the core working group of HCP Zurich Outreach volunteers.  Sign up via our WhatsApp group chat: https://chat.whatsapp.com/K9SpLKYfY7XJF3jwROH54K or PM me.
  2. At your group’s next few business meetings, solicit among members ways to identify local HCP who treat English-speaking problem drinkers. Send your suggestions to me.
  3. Add your name as a contact for patients leaving treatment to accompany them to an AA meeting (sign up via WA link above or PM/email to me). We need 6 women and 6 men.

“Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 31)

Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers. (Tradition 5, The Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous)

Submitted by Joel B.
Health Liaison Officer of Continental European Region of Alcoholics Anonymous Great Britain
Email  health.cer@aamail.org

ZURICH OPENAIR – Fellowship Event

A sober fun seeking, music loving group of different ages will be going to the Zurich Openair. The concerts take place in the evenings during the week, and start in the afternoon on Friday & Saturday. So, we’ll be having an AA meeting point where we will be meeting during the opening hours (no sleeping in tents and such!).

Come join us! The fun doesn’t stop when we get sober – it just gets better!

To order tickets: https://zurichopenair.ch/en/
For more info email: rainbowroom@gmx.ch

2022 CER Conference Questions

As CER Representative, I will be holding a three Zoom virtual feedback sessions to solicit fellows’ feedback on selected 2022 Conference Questions.  Conference Questions deal with evolving issues of relevance and importance to the fellowship today.  Your feedback to these questions is the key avenue through which your voice gets heard in how “AA policy” is made.

I will hold 3 * 90 minute sessions, same material covered, simply multiple opportunities to accommodate schedules.  Note that the Zoom link is specific to each time slot

Friday 18 February 2100 (9pm)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82499360220

Wednesday 23 February 2100 (9pm)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81403909367

Sunday 27 February 1400 (2pm)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86110319199

As well, the CER Conference Delegates are holding their own direct feedback session, should fellows wish to speak directly to them, this Saturday 19 February at 10am, details below:

https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu/event/cer-delegates-webinar-2022/

Additionally, if individuals groups wish to hold a feedback session with me directly in person, I am happy to discuss and try to accommodate.

These are the 3 questions I have selected for feedback, which I believe are topical and reflect current debates within the fellowship.

Committee No. 2

  1. Would the Fellowship share experience and make recommendations on how groups can continue to meet in-person and abide by government COVID-19 regulations, such as contact tracing, vaccination status, whilst being mindful of our Traditions?

Background

AA groups that meet in person may be subject to local authority COVID-19 regulations.  These regulations change frequently and may be different depending on the city, county and/or country.

Regulations such as contact tracing may conflict with our Tradition of anonymity, for example, and requiring proof of vaccination or test status may conflict with our Tradition of “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking”.

References Tradition 3, 11 & 12

Committee No. 5

  1.   Should AAGB update the AA Preamble published on its website and in literature to the gender-neutral version recently updated by the AA Grapevine and agreed upon at the 71st General Service Conference (US/Canada)?

Background

Original Version

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their

experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their

common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only

requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or

fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own

contributions.

AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics,

organisation or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy;

neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay

sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

 

New Version

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share their experience,

strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common

problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement

for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA

membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.

AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organisation or institution; does

not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any

causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to

achieve sobriety.

Committee 6

  1.   Would the Fellowship discuss and share experience on the following matters concerning group autonomy: –
  2. How may a group’s qualification for inclusion in the AAGB and English- Speaking Continental Europe service structure and local and national meetings lists be determined?
  3. How should secular AA groups using a modified version of AA’s 12 Steps and AA’s 12 Traditions be viewed within the context of the legacy of AA unity?

Background

  • Tradition 3 long form
  • Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Tradition 3
  • Tradition 4
  • Tradition 5
  • Our Great Responsibility (A selection of Bill W.’s General Service

Conference Talks 1951-1970) – Variations in the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions page 89:

“Variations in the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions.” “So I thought I would spin a little yarn to you about the original variations – especially in the Steps and the hassles we had about them – and then maybe philosophize a little bit on this question of whether this program of ours is frozen as solid as an ice cube or whether there is any elasticity in it or not: whether we are going to get into the business of insisting upon conformity, whether we are going to get into the business of creating an authority that says that these Steps and Traditions have to be this way

I ask all GSRs to announce this at their meetings and encourage their fellows to attend.

Yours in Service,

A.J. P., Zürich IG Representative to the Continental European Region