Mental Health Support Groups - Are They Essential?

American National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Mental health support groups are used to good effect by the people suffering from mental health issues. The medical community is also in favor of the support groups.

The support groups help you to achieve some self help so you can cope with or overcome mental illness.

There are off line groups and ...

...  online groups. As soon as you join an off line group you have help with at least one of the complications caused by mental illness - loneliness. The people who are able to get through to mentally ill people are other mentally ill people.

A mentally ill person may be very resistant to taking medications regularly. However, when they hear what happens to other mentally ill people when they stop taking medications, they are more open to adopting the techniques to stay on regular medication. That kind of support is only available in support groups and not from doctors.

Participation in mental health support groups is ...

... usually free. That is a major difference between helping yourself by going to support groups and professional services that you have to pay for.


The support groups allow you to find out how to help yourself almost to the same level as professional services but not replace professional services. The nice thing about participating in support groups is that the groups will guide you about when and where to seek professional services.

The advantage of that is you will be spending money on the proper professional services at the right time. Also, the amount of money spent on professional services and hospitalizations is reduced because use of those services is reduced when you avail of the services of the support groups.

There are two things you have to watch out for:

1. All the above mentioned benefits are available to you if you attend your support groups regularly. A halfhearted and irregular attendance will not provide you with the advantages.

2. The obstacle to overcome is the stigma associated with participating in mental health support groups.

However, you can participate anonymously in online support groups. When you are participating online, just keep to yourself the information that will identify you. Don't divulge your real name, city and other personal information even if you had to provide that information to join the online support group.

The best way to find ...

... such support groups is to do a lot of searching via the search engines like Google or Ask.

However, if a lot of information about a lot of support groups can be confusing. If you want to look at a 'short' list (between 80 and 85) support groups you can go to this web page of Mental Health America and select the support group
that is the most suited to you.

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