Social Support

Defined as ‘the perception or experience that one is cared for, esteemed, and part of a mutually supportive social network’ (Taylor, 2011), social support has been associated with various positive health states including effective coping behaviours, personal competence, perceived control, positive affect, sense of stability, psychological wellbeing, improved self-esteem and reduced anxiety and depression.  Indeed, social support helps build people up during times of stress and can give people the strength to carry on or even thrive.  Thus, a social support system has been identified as a fundamental component of strong psychological health and solid relationships.  According to Social Support Theory there are four types of social support including instrumental, informational, emotional and appraisal. 


Taylor, S. E. (2011). Social support: A review. In H. S. Friedman (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of health psychology (pp. 189–214). Oxford University Press.

Why We Need Social Support

Previous research conducted on behalf of FMO shows over half of respondents reported high levels of social isolation.  Respondents also expressed the need for meeting up with individuals /groups with similar experiences and shared understanding.  Support through friendships and group solidarity was felt to have high significance and belonging to FMO, thus members can rely on one another for lower-level emotional support.  FMO is therefore committed to adhering to its strategic objective of reaching out to its vulnerable and socially isolated.  FMO aims to provide social support to its members through a number of activities and events, for example, regular coffee mornings, luncheon dates, respite trips and a drop-in service.  These activities can assist members with social development and with moving on towards a shared society.

How Social Support Helps Members

Social support enables FMO members to begin their transition from victim to survivor as part of a process of healing and recovery. This is achieved through:

• Increased social activity. Members can interact with one another in a relaxed and enjoyable environment
• Enhanced confidence levels through improved communication skills
• Reduced social isolation and strengthening group solidarity
• Reduced stress levels
• Increased physical fitness which in turn has a positive contribution to mental health and well-being

FMO also provides members with informational social support by providing advice and assistance to members when needed, for example, assistance in completing forms or referrals to other organisations to further assist members with any queries. This advice and support is free of charge.

What Does Social Support At Families Moving On consist of?

  • Monthly coffee mornings – these are typically held in house at the FMO premises on Dublin Road.
  • Regular excursions and trips. Recent trips have included an Elvis tribute night at the Europa Hotel in Belfast and a trip to Crumlin Road Jail.  Some of FMO’s past events and trips have included Bushmills Distillery, Belfast Museum, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cruiser along the Lough Erne, Titanic Quarter, Doagh Famine Village and many, many more. 
  • Luncheon Trips – Members have also recently benefited from luncheon dates at Glenpark, the Coach Inn and The Silver Birches.

What people say about FMO

“FMO provides a great source of social networks, friendships and opportunities to meet up for coffee mornings, activities etc” – FMO Member

“FMO is my go to place for advice and help.  It keeps me connected to the community and has very helpful and supportive staff.  I would highly recommend FMO to anyone looking for support, help or signposting to relevant services” – FMO Member

“Together, Moving Forward”

Need advice? Call our support line on (028) 82 250 369