"Young Persons" Meetings in OA
Although youth are welcome in OA meetings, we are now making a special focus to include them into existing OA meetings. These meetings will be called "Young Persons Meetings." The term YP may show up on meeting lists to specify which meetings welcome young persons. It is up to each OA meeting in Suffolk County to decide to include a special focus for youth to help them feel more comfortable.
Here are a few requirements and suggestions to be discussed at meetings before making the commitment to become a young persons meeting:
The meeting needs to be a healthy, stable meeting already in existence.
Include in the format the phrase "Would everyone please keep in mind that we have young people in attendance and to keep your sharing age appropriate." It is important to acknowledge the young OA members who are present. If none are present, this phrase can be skipped.
Offer the "Dignity Of Choice" pamphlet, keeping in mind OA does not endorse specific food plans but does suggest the use of one.
Help make younger members feel comfortable and explain that although there may be an age difference, we may have had the same issues - we can relate.
Here are some suggestions from the Youth In OA Committee:
- have on hand the "To the Teen" Pamphlet and "15 Questions for the Teen"
- include parts of the "To the Teen Pamphlet" in the preliminary readings
- meeting format is changed to Step One (like a newcomer meeting)
- at the very least make certain that the "regular members" specifically focus their sharing on their own compulsive eating experiences.
There may also be questions from parents and concerned family members. Offer to arrive a few minutes before the meeting to answer questions for parents if your meeting contact is called. This will help ease concerns. Meetings can also set up a specific "Questions and Answers for Teens" pre-meeting with parents and family members monthly to offer additional information. The pamphlet "To Parents And Concerned Adults" can be given out.
Please notify Suffolk County Intergroup and World Service if you make your meeting "Teen Friendly." This information will be added to the meeting lists.
Currently, the Hauppauge Saturday morning welcomes young persons to OA.