Support Groups and Social Support - Topic Overview
How to find a support group
Here are some ways to find support groups.
- Ask your doctor, counselor, or other health
professional for suggestions.
- Ask your religious leader. You can
contact churches, mosques, synagogues, or other religious
- Ask your family and friends.
- Ask people who
have the same condition.
- Contact a city, state, or national group
for the condition. Your library, community center, or phone book may have a
list of these groups.
- Search the Internet. Forums, email lists,
and chat rooms let you read messages from others and leave your own messages.
You can exchange stories, let off steam, and ask and answer questions. But these websites are often not monitored by professionals, so you may find inaccurate information, which can increase your anxiety.
Look for a support group that works for you. Ask yourself
if you prefer structure and would like a group leader, or if you'd like a less
formal group. Do you prefer face-to-face meetings, or do you feel more secure
in Internet chat rooms or forums?
Social support includes emotional
support such as love, trust, and understanding, as well as advice and concrete
help, such as help managing your time. Your family, friends, and community all
can do this. They can make you feel cared about and feel good about yourself,
and can give you hope.
You may get your social support from many
people. You may play sports with one group of people, go to movies with
another, and turn to family or friends to talk over problems.
can look for support from:
- Your spouse or partner and your
- Your parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles,
cousins, grandparents, and anyone who is like family to you.
- Friends, coworkers, members of your religious and/or spiritual
groups, neighbors, and classmates.
- Support groups, consumer
drop-in centers, and online support groups.
- Doctors, therapists,
nurses, and other professionals.
Ask yourself where you get your social support. You may
be able to forge a closer relationship with family members or friends. Maybe
you know someone who you'd like to know better. You can join a club, or find a
group of people with the same interests you have.