"Electronic meetings, like all Al‑Anon meetings, offer help and hope to anyone who is affected by alcoholism in a family member or friend. Electronic Al‑Anon meetings agree to abide by the spirit of the Twelve Traditions. Each Al‑Anon member is responsible for keeping the meeting focused on Al‑Anon recovery and discussion of Al‑Anon related topics. Al‑Anon will always be what we—its members—make it. Confidentiality and anonymity varies from platform to platform. It is the responsibility of the Al‑Anon member to understand how to maintain personal anonymity when participating in an online Al‑Anon meeting."
Extracted from al-anon.org website
Thinking of hosting an online/virtual meeting?
If you are thinking of hosting an online virtual meeting here are a few pointers to consider. All these points are merely suggestions, based on the experiences of many members:
- Remember to apply the Al-Anon principles of when conducting meetings.
- Remind members to be particularly mindful of Tradition 12 it may be more difficult for people to observe this while meeting from home but every effort should be made to protect the anonymity of all members.
- If the platform offers the option, ask members to adjust their username to display first names and last initial to protect their anonymity.
- Ask members to mute their microphones while not speaking to limit background noise for the whole group.
- Meeting host may have the option to mute participants microphones if there is persistent or excessive background noise.
- Follow standard meeting formats. Steps and traditions can be read aloud by two volunteers.This can really help settle a group and adds familiarity and consistency. Closing in the usual way and reciting the serenity prayer is also particularly helpful.
- Remind participants of the importance of Traditional 7. 'Every group should be fully self-supporting'. Donations can be made directly to GSO through the Al-Anon website. Some members have suggested putting donations into a savings pot at home which could be given to home group once they are re-opened. You may also consider making payments directly to your district bank account if you have one.
- Check if there any newcomers attending the meeting and welcome them in the usual fashion.
- The host may wish to control the mute setting of all the participants as a way of minimising broken audio from over-talking. They may also wish to ask members to raise their hands when they wish to share. This can be useful to help everyone to share if they wish to, preventing any members monopolising 'sharing time' that can occasionally happen.
- Contact us to let us know you are holding a meeting. you can email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently asked questions
The Al-Anon website has a link to frequently asked questions regarding Online meetings use the link to take a look to see if they may be of benefit.