Self-Help & Support Groups
There are many times that each of us can benefit from the support of others or learn from hearing another's story. If you are looking for some new ideas on how to address an issue in your life, you might want to consider joining a support group or self-help group. Often talking with others who have dealt with a similar issue can give you valuable new insights, help you learn new coping skills, and give you much-needed emotional support in a time of distress.
A support group's basic purpose is to provide mutual aid and support for those who share a similar concern. Support groups help to enhance your understanding of and ability to deal with stressful life situations that are often out of your personal control. Support groups are almost always provided in a confidential setting and are usually at minimal cost or no charge at all.
Throughout Michigan and the United States, participation in self-help and support groups has dramatically increased in recent years. Those who attend often share that they no longer feel so alone struggling with an unsolvable problem. Many also report that they value the positive support and affirmation they receive from the group.
Self-help and support groups are available to help you deal with a wide variety of issues that may be affecting you or someone you care about, such as:
- grief and loss
- alcoholism or other addictions
- parenting difficulties
- divorce or separation
- physical health challenges such as cancer, diabetes
- eating disorders
Groups can vary as much as the reasons for their existence. To get the most benefit, it’s important to find the right fit for you. Keep these suggestions in mind if you decide to join a group:
- Give it a few tries before you make up your mind about whether or not it will work for you.
- Keep in mind that the particular composition of a group can make a big difference in the benefits to you. The demographic mix of the group and the personalities of the participants can affect your comfort level.
- Every group is different. Try a few groups before you choose your favorite.
There are several ways you can find a support group that may be of interest and help to you:
- Search listings online
- Ask your U-M employee assistance program for help.
- Talk to your physician.
- Check your local paper for listings.
- Ask at your local library.
- Consult with religious leaders.