Monday, June 17, 2024

Are There Depression Support Groups

If You Are In A Crisis Situation

Aware Support Groups

Most importantly, if you have feelings of suicide or self-harm it is important to connect with counselors and volunteers who are trained to handle crisis situations. We recommend:

2) Crisis Text Line

The Crisis Text Line is staffed by volunteers that have completed a 30 hour training program designed to qualify them to be able to help guide you from a hot moment to a cool calm. They will also help you develop a plan to stay safe and healthy.

Text: Text CONNECT to 741741

3) Suicide Prevention Lifeline Chat

The National Suicide Prevention Lifelines chat is committed to connecting individuals with counselors to help provide emotional support in times of crisis. Their chat is always available, 24./7, throughout the United States.

4) IMAlive

IMAlive is an instant-messaging service designed for the 30% of people who call crisis hotlines and hang up as soon as they hear a human voice. Their service is designed to help those who will respond better to an online chat than they would a phone conversation.

5) Worldwide Crisis Lines

While we are US based, the need for access to crisis lines is a worldwide one. We recommend Wikipedias always updated list crisis lines.

What Are Three Strategies For Managing Anxiety

There are various strategies a person may try to manage anxiety symptoms.

The National Health Service in the United Kingdom recommends people avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoking, practice mindfulness techniques, such as yoga and pilates, and exercise regularly.

What Are Support Groups And Why Might You Want To Join One

Support groups are gatherings of people who share common ground in some way and can offer each other emotional support, according to the Mayo Clinic. Typically, participants have either gone through or are currently going through a similar experience, such as the loss of a loved one or living with an illness, a chronic health condition, or addiction. Or they might share a marginalized identity, such as a sexuality, gender, or race, that influences the challenges they face when moving through the world. Those are only a few examples, thoughthere are a ton of support groups out there, and more are cropping up in response to the myriad challenges that have arisen in the last two years.

The important thing to understand about support groups is that they can vary greatly in practice. Unlike group therapy, which is guided by a licensed mental health professional and offers targeted support, support groups come in many shapes and sizes. Some might be more structured, like those offered by a nonprofit organization or mental health clinic. Others might be independent and run by people like you or me who just want to gather with others over a virtual cup of coffee once a week to talk about our struggles. Some support groups take the form of online communities and dont have meetings at all.

Read Also: What Is The Best Way To Overcome Depression

Online Support Group Basics

Some depression groups take place online. Groups may meet virtually, or they might include discussion boards where members can read or share messages at any time of day or night.

An online group may also be helpful to people in rural areas where in-person groups arent readily available. And it may help individuals who are struggling to leave their homes due to depression or those who lack the transportation to attend in-person meetings.

Online groups also alleviate other potential obstacles to attending in-person groups, such as the need for members to get childcare.

They can be a good option for individuals who also struggle with anxietyand would feel too anxious to attend a group in person.

Some people may appreciate the ability to read and create messages at any time of day or night through online message boards or chat rooms.

In addition, online depression support groups may be beneficial to people whose experiences are less common. For example, new mothers might benefit from an online support group for individuals specifically experiencing postpartum depression. While it may be difficult to find enough individuals in a local group who are experiencing it, an online group might be able to bring more mothers together.

Online groups can cater to other specific populations as well, such as people experiencing depression after divorce or young people with depression.

Who Should Use Support Groups

Best Online Anxiety Support Groups of 2021

Support groups are offered as a space where individuals can come together to share their stories, experiences, and lives in a way that helps reduce isolation and loneliness. Oftentimes, we think we are struggling alone, but support groups help us see that there are others who may dealing with similar situations and who in turn can help us get better.

Support groups are open to anyone, but they are often focused on specific topics . So, take some time and do some research to find the right one for you and your current situation.

Finding the right support group can be helpful. Do not be discouraged if the first support group you find doesn’t quite feel right. You should feel comfortable in the support group space that you choose, so trying different ones may help you determine the best fit.

We also encourage you to also take a look at Mental Health America’s LiveYourLifeWell program to learn more about the value of connecting with others and other helpful wellness tools.

Recommended Reading: Can A Woman Have Postpartum Depression After A Miscarriage

Support & Self Care Groups

Aware Support & Self Care Groups offer an opportunity for people, aged 18 years and over, to talk openly about depression, bipolar disorder, other related mood conditions and their impact. Peers share their experience and understanding and offer an exchange of thoughts and techniques around self-care and resilience in a supportive, confidential and proactive environment.

If you are under 18 years of age, please contact childline for support on .

Best For Those In Dual Recovery: Dual Recovery Anonymous

Dual Recovery Anonymous is a self-help organization that helps people who have a mental health condition and a substance use disorder .

Similarly to EA, it uses a 12-step program, but its meetings only take place in person.

Pros and cons

DRA uses a 12-step structure for recovery from SUD and supporting mental health, which some people may prefer. It also offers in-person meetings.

However, like EA, DRA is spiritual and places an emphasis on a higher power. Also, the organization does not offer any online meetings.

Price: DRA meetings are free to attend, although donations are welcome.

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How Do I Find An Online Depression Support Group

Online depression support groups can provide you with encouragement from others — even people you don’t know. They can help you realize that youââ¬â¢re not alone in dealing with the feelings of depression. This added support can give you new confidence as you learn to manage your depression and handle daily challenges.

For more information, see WebMD’s article on Preventing Depression.

Support Groups On Monday August 29 At : 30pm Est

How does an online support group help people overcome depression?
  • Young Family & Friends
  • Borderline Personality Disorder for Families
  • South Shore: Family & Friends

For people living with mental illness only:

  • Kaleidoscope

All mental illnesses are welcome at Family and Friends and at Kaleidoscope and an official diagnosis is not necessary.

What time do they start?

Groups begin promptly at 6:30pm EST. We do not allow people into the groups after 6:45pm. Meetings end at 8pm.

Do I have to register in advance?

No! Just click on the button for your group shortly before 6:30pm.

What is it like at a support group?

Support groups do not have a set agenda or topic. The conversation comes from the people in the group. There will be an introduction with instructions and news. Online groups are similar to an in-person support group you will be able to talk and listen and there will be a facilitator leading the conversation.

Groups are facilitated by volunteers who have experience with mental illness in themselves or in a loved one. Because you do not have to register in advance, we never know how many people will be attending it can be anywhere from a few people to 15 or more. Support groups are confidential. You do not have to give your real name, and you contribute to the conversation as much or as little as youd like.

If possible, please be in a quiet place to minimize background noise.

What language are groups held in?

How old do you have to be to attend?

Im a social worker/psychologist/student. Can I observe a group?

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Is An Anxiety Support Group Right For Me

Anyone who experiences symptoms of anxiety and feels alone in their experience may benefit from joining an online anxiety support group.

They can be especially helpful to those who may require extra care in addition to therapy and other forms of treatment. Since anxiety disorders can have ongoing symptoms, online support groups can be used as part of someoneâs continuing treatment.

Adaa Online Support Group

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has its own anonymous, peer-to-peer support group with over 60,000 subscribers. People use the platform to share their stories, ask for advice, and seek out people with similar experiences. Though its primarily focused on anxiety and depression, many people also discuss OCD, ADHD, PTSD, and other co-occurring disorders. You can participate on your desktop or download the iOS app for iPhones here.

Read Also: How Do You Know If Your Going Thru Depression

Remember Your Reasons For Joining

When you feel like things couldnt possibly be worse, a support group can help you reframe your issues and view them in a more positive light. One of the best steps you can take toward feeling better is mustering up the courage to identify an appropriate support group and start attending.

Youll know youve taken the right step when you feel you have something in common with others in the group, and youve contributed something to them as well. Most importantly, you can call your experience a success when you leave the group thinking, I feel better now than when I first arrived.

What Is The Purpose Of An Anxiety Support Group

4 Ways Depression Groups Help You Recover

âThe purpose of an anxiety support group is to connect individuals who struggle with anxiety in a community setting that allows them to share experiences, struggles, and coping mechanisms and fosters relationship development between members,â explains , PSYD, LPC, CPCS.

âThe aim of these groups is to reduce the feeling of the loneliness and isolationism many feel when they are dealing with anxiety.â

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Best For Family Support: National Alliance On Mental Illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers several methods of support for people who have mental health conditions and their families, such as:

  • NAMI Connection support groups
  • NAMI Family Support Groups, for friends and family members
  • free online chat with trained specialists
  • free text support with trained crisis counselors
  • free crisis helpline available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. between Monday and Friday

Pros and cons

NAMI provides in-person and online support for people who have mental health conditions and their friends and family. It also offers helpful links on its website, educating individuals on what to do if a loved one is in crisis.

However, NAMI cannot offer mental health counseling, advice, or personal advocacy, and it cannot refer people to healthcare professionals specializing in mental health conditions.

Price: NAMI support groups and helplines are free.

Can I Access Support Groups Online

Some organizations now offer online support groups, discussion boards, blogs, and online communities as additional ways to connect with others in similar situations. These can be helpful additions to in-person support groups and can be especially helpful if there are no groups in your area.

Mental Health America has its own support community through Inspire which enables individuals to connect on a variety of issues and topics related to mental health.

Recommended Reading: Does Talking To Someone Help Depression

Group Therapy For Depression

You are not alone.

In this support group, you can talk about your feelings and experiences with depression in a healing group setting. You will engage in therapeutic activities and monitor therapeutic change.

The group is facilitated by a mental health therapist. There will be a maximum of 7 participants in a group.

Red Flags For An Unproductive Support Group

Free support groups for mental health

The discussion portion of a support group should be helpful and productive. If something feels off, it probably is. Some red flags that signal the support group may not be right for you include:

The facilitator lacks skills and training. Its essential for facilitators to control their meetings. They shouldnt allow anyone in the group to take over or monopolize the groups time. They should be clear on the group guidelines and be willing to enforce them. For example, they should not allow disrespect or the sharing of medical advice. Also, they shouldnt take the entire group time to share their own problems, leaving little or no time for others to share.

The group is too large. The time goes quickly during a support group. If its too large, not all participants will have a chance to share and get the benefit of what the others share. Generally, ten or fewer members works best in a support group.

The confidentiality rule isnt enforced consistently or at all. Group members often share many sensitive issues at a support meeting. Its essential for facilitators to enforce confidentiality at group meetings so that every participant feels safe. Participants should be discouraged from getting involved in group texts, chats, and social media outside the group where unmoderated discussions can become disrespectful. Students or other observers shouldnt be allowed to observe or record the group for educational or other purposes.

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Find Peer Support Where You Live

Peer support is when people use their own experiences to help each other. Forms of peer support include:

  • community groups
  • online communities
  • support groups

Support is based on sharing experiences and agreeing a reason for meeting. How you choose to meet up or connect with people is very flexible and depends on your personal preferences. Peer support can improve your emotional health, wellbeing and sense of belonging.

A vital part of peer support is mutual respect peer support aims to help both those giving and receiving support. Everyone’s experiences are treated as equally important, so you might find this gives you a different experience to more traditional support options.

In 2022 Psychcentral Ranked Dbsa Support Groups Best Overall

Read the full article here.

During the COVID-19 health crisis, DBSA support groups are not meeting in person. Many groups are using online meeting tools, social media, email, and other channels to keep people and families connected to the resources they need.

DBSA offers both in-person and online support groups to help you find support near you. Take the next step toward wellness for yourself or someone you love.

Also Check: When Do People Get Depression

Overcoming The Psychological Obstacles To Joining A Support Group

Its hard and emotionally draining to deal with a serious issue such as addiction, bereavement, burnout, depression, or another mental health problem. For some people, its even harder to ask for help and be willing to receive it. Half the battle of attending a support group is just getting through the door for the very first time.

Its common to feel nervous, frightened, or even ashamed. By joining a support group, it means youre acknowledging and accepting the fact that the issue youre facing is real, you can no longer avoid dealing with it, and you need help. These can be hard things to accept, but there are ways to overcome the obstacles to taking that first step.

  • You have nothing to lose by giving a support group a fair try. The people sitting on the other side of the door once felt the very same way you do.
  • Youll likely make new friends who will be more sympathetic than some of your closest friends and family members are able to be about your current circumstances.
  • If youre afraid to go alone, consider asking a trusted friend to tag along for moral support. After the first few meetings, youre sure to feel more at ease.

How Do I Know Which Option Is Best For Me

5 Best Depression Support Groups In 2021

Try to think about what you need the most. Is it a trained therapist? A connection with peers? Someone to listen to you? Support surrounding a specific condition?

Once youve figured out your biggest need, you can look for a site that fits your criteria. If, after a certain amount of time like 1 month you dont feel its the right place for you, its OK to search for another site that may be a better fit.

Recommended Reading: How To Deal With A Depressed Spouse

Where Can I Turn For Depression Support

Although you cannot control the fact that you may have clinical depression, you can seek a depression support system for yourself. Getting family help with depression is a great place to start. Talk openly with people close to you — family members, friends, and co-workers — to help them understand your treatment and that you’re doing all you can to follow your doctor’s recommendations.

Also, you can find support for depression through religious organizations in your community, whether from the pastor, rabbi, or other religious leader, small groups, or caring individuals within the organizations.

Best Overall: Mental Health America

Mental Health America

Mental Health America is a free, community-based nonprofit founded in 1909 to help those living with mental health issues and to promote the mental health of Americans. The aim of MHA is to help people with their mental health through prevention, early identification, and integrated care.

The organization offers online support groups and discussion communities for a variety of mental health concerns through the Inspire platform. It’s designed to connect patients, families, friends, and caregivers, so that they can exchange support and inspiration. Members of the community can post questions and problems to receive support from other members.

MHA also offers webinars to educate individuals, as well as a peer support specialist training program leading to a National Certification as a Peer Specialist credential.

Finally, Mental Health America offers an intervention called “It’s My Life: Social Self-Directed Care” to help people build a network of friends and intimate relationships, which is particularly helpful if they are isolated or misunderstood by the people around them.

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