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December 9, 2020 Virtual Support via Zoom At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation had to quickly...

December 9, 2020
Virtual Support via Zoom

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation had to quickly adapt and make changes to some of the ways in which it serves the RLS community. Face-to-face support group meetings were no longer safe, so we decided to try a new a way of meeting using the Zoom platform. At first, only a handful of support group leaders were interested in switching to Zoom. But once we began to realize that this would be the new norm – at least for now – more and more groups were glad to have a way to safely connect with others while physical distancing at home. In fact, some of our support group leaders love the convenience of travelling to the couch for a meeting instead of across town!

"After using Zoom for a few virtual meetings, I felt excited because I'm able to attract more attendees from a wider geographical area,” said Bill Becker, one of the first support group leaders to hold a virtual support group meeting. “The support group also likes the tool, so we will be continuing to use this venue moving forward."

After many successful gatherings of local groups over Zoom, the Foundation decided to host meetings open to anyone who wanted to attend, regardless of their location. These virtual support group meetings were so popular that we now have four standing meeting times every month: one meeting per week at varying times and days of the week to accommodate different time zones. Participants from all over the world, including Australia, Ireland, UK and South America have joined. To register to attend a virtual support group, go to

Many people who participate in these support group meetings had never spoken to another person with RLS until they found us – and you. Although it is unfortunate that we had to suspend face-to-face meetings, switching to a virtual support group platform has been a great and much-appreciated resource for the RLS community and Foundation staff, because it allows us to keep learning about people’s experiences and hear their stories.

During this time of physical distancing, stress and uncertainty, we found a way to come together, and one thing is certain: virtual support group meetings are here to stay! Moving forward, we have created a new volunteer position for virtual support group leaders. If you are interested in joining a virtual support group, visit and sign up for a time that works best for you. If you are interested in becoming a virtual support group leader, email or visit We look forward to meeting you!

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