When groups register with the World Service Office (WSO), they are asked to indicate whether they welcome observers at their meeting. These observers may or may not be affected by someone else’s drinking; however, they may be in a position to refer those who are and simply want to get a better understanding of how our program works.

Moreover, some nursing programs require students to observe Al‑Anon meetings to obtain first-hand knowledge of how the Al‑Anon program provides support to those affected by the family disease of alcoholism.

If your group is designated “Families and Friends Only,” you may want to consider welcoming observers at least a few times a year to share how Al‑Anon works. For instance, the following could be added to your group’s meeting listing on al-anon.org: “Observers welcome at the first meeting in January, April, July, and October” (or any dates your group chooses). This would ensure that professionals, students, and anyone from your community who is interested in Al‑Anon will feel comfortable attending your meeting to learn more about our program.

The Forum, September 2023

Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.