The Sibling Support Project is a national effort dedicated to the life-long concerns of brothers and sisters of people who have special health, developmental, or mental health concerns. Project director, Don Meyer, created the Sibshop® model and trains Sibshop facilitators throughout the world.
In Meyer’s words:
We believe that disabilities, illness, and mental health issues affect the lives of all family members. Consequently, we want to increase the peer support and information opportunities for brothers and sisters of people with special needs and to increase parents’ and providers’ understanding of sibling issues.
Our mission is accomplished by training local service providers on how to create community-based peer support programs for young siblings; hosting workshops, listservs, and websites for young and adult siblings; and increasing parents’ and providers’ awareness of siblings’ unique, lifelong, and ever-changing concerns through workshops, websites, and written materials.
Don’s work was the inspiration behind northeastern Wisconsin’s Fox Valley Sibling Support Network, which was created in 1998 as the first independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to the interests of the siblings of people with disabilities, mental health concerns, and long-term illnesses. FVSSN became WisconSibs in 2014.