Reaching Out to All
For those doing service in reaching out to the codependent who still suffers, a primary goal is to be welcoming and inclusive of everyone. As individual members, we can carry the message by sharing our stories with others when it is appropriate. On a broader level, we can extend the CoDA message to those it may not have reached before, in multiple ways. In this section we share ideas on how members may consider reaching out to all codependents who still suffer.
Questions to ask yourself: Who in my region still suffers with codependency, but may not have heard the CoDA message? How can I be a conduit to carry the message to others? How can we expand or reach people outside of our immediate community?
What can we do?
- Share information: We can display or send materials, such as CoDA pamphlets and free materials. *See materials lists below
- Post announcements: We can post meeting announcements at places of worship, counseling centers, hospitals supermarkets, community bulletin boards, libraries, medical or legal aid clinics or places where other groups are held. Remember to ask permission first.
- Public service announcements (PSAs): Radio, Television, Web-based. We suggest that PSAs for large regions are forwarded to the CoDA, Inc. Board for feedback.
- Use Media to Attract: For press advertisements we may use a few sentences describing codependency and recovery from pamphlets, making sure to credit the public information resource we use.
- Mailings: We can send mailings to mental health professionals and represent CODA at events such as health fairs and conferences (see Outreach to Professionals)
- Consider Location & Donations: We can start a meeting in a location helpful to those who suffer, or donate CoDA materials. (See Starting a Meeting)
- Rehabilitation centers, hospitals, prisons, and shelters for people recovering from domestic abuse: Speak to a social worker at the institution about the program, and ask permission to send pamphlets such as “What is CoDA?,” as well as a local meeting list where appropriate. Offer information about the Hospitals & Institutions Committee, as well the free materials program.
- Ask your local or school librarian if the library will accept a donated book of the Co-dependents Anonymous text
Carrying the Message Within Special Communities
12-Step Recovery communities: Many new members come after being in other 12-Step fellowships. As we do not affiliate with any other organizations, we must carefully consider how we carry the message within other recovery communities. For example, a local nonprofit recovery club may be a great venue for a meeting or posting of flyers. Requesting a link to the CoDA.org website, or a local CoDA site, on the sites of such nonprofits is acceptable, although we do not link to them from a CoDA site. Recovery events can be a great opportunity to host a CoDA workshop on a certain topic.
Underrepresented communities: We would appreciate members to share their experiences for carrying the message within their own underrepresented communities. Areas that we are developing include Multicultural Membership and Young Member Support.
Specific communities within CoDA: At the Find a Meeting page on CoDA.org are listed different meetings created to address different needs of fellowship members. As described in the CoDA Meeting Handbook, some are targeted to specific groups of people: There are men’s and women’s groups, restricted by gender. There are Young People’s meetings and Gay/Lesbian meetings, although all members may attend these meetings. In addition, some meetings or CoDA events can be topic or issue focused, such as a CoDA meeting or workshop for parents. For definitions of meeting types, please see the handbook.
RESOURCES: Please click on the following areas for additional resources and materials, if available: