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Depression and other mental conditions: Support groups can help

When you have depression or another mental health condition, support groups can improve your coping skills and offer hope. Find one that fits your needs.

If you have depression or another mental health condition, joining a support group can be a valuable addition to professional treatment. Support groups can help you feel less alone, find new coping skills and motivate you to stick to treatment plans. They can also be a source of hope for recovery and a more enjoyable future.

Depression and mental health support groups abound. Choosing a support group can be challenging but ultimately rewarding. Here's a look at how support groups may help you and how to find one that suits your needs.

Understanding support groups

A support group is a gathering of people who share a common condition or interest. Most mental health support groups focus on specific conditions, whether it's depression, substance abuse or eating disorders, for instance.

Members of the support group share their experiences and practical information about the way they've handled their own situation. They also offer emotional comfort and moral support.

Support groups may be formed by someone with depression or another condition or by someone interested in it, such as a family member. In some cases, they may be formed by nonprofit organizations, mental health clinics or other groups.

In-person support groups may meet in a variety of locations, such as in someone's home, in a church, in a community center or in a clinic. They can also meet electronically, with support shared over the Internet.

Support groups are not the same as group psychotherapy sessions. Group therapy is a formal type of mental health treatment that brings together several people with similar conditions under the guidance of trained mental health professionals.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Thanks for posting this, Nancy.

I agree with the article. I think there is a lot of merit to support groups in any format as an adjunct to psychotherapy.
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