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Diane Miller - Healthy families seek help when needed
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    According to family columnist Dolores Curran, a good family used to be one “That was self-sufficient, didn’t ask for help from others, supported its institutions, was never tainted with failure, starved before it went on welfare and met all the criteria of good families as determined by community and church.”
    Today, however, healthy, resilient families admit to and seek help with problems. Resilient families expect problems and treat them as a part of everyday life.
Also, these families develop skills for solving problems. One of these coping skills is to ask for help or social support when needed. Social support is defined as helpful functions performed by significant others.
    Three kinds of social support have been identified. The first one, caring support, refers to those times when a friend offers a word of encouragement, a pat on the back for a job well done or a shoulder to cry on.
Caring support is just “being there.”
    Working support is the second kind of social support.
    Household help, child or elder care, financial assistance or help on the job are examples of working support.
    The third support, informational, occurs when a friend or professional provides useful advice, personal feedback or ideas to smooth out bumps in your life.
    Most families, fortunately, do not have to “go at it alone.” When stressful events and problems come there are valuable resources of support including church, synagogue, friends, neighbors and professionals to call one.
    For more information about healthy family functioning, call Diane at (912) 871-0504, or
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