Support Groups have been around for decades and studies agree that there are definite benefits to participants who share their experiences with peers in these groups. Support groups encompass all phases of life; self help, mental health, diseases, weight loss, substance abuse, addictions, self esteem, assertiveness…the list is endless. And so are the benefits.

One of the most important advantages of support groups when people realize that they are not alone; that there are other people out there who have having the same problems and issues and the same experiences.

Support groups offer a safe place to express these feelings and the ability to share life experiences without fear of criticism. It’s also a place to find resources and way of dealing with issues.

Having created and facilitated many face to face support groups during my nursing career I am acutely aware of the pitfalls and challenges of running peer support groups. Time, weather and location affect attendance and finding dedicated group facilitators who are willing to volunteer their time on an ongoing basis is difficult. Many much needed support groups fail because of these constraints.

In 2005 I personally needed a support group and none were available. So, I took a leap of faith and started a website blog both as my own vehicle for healing and to help other women who shared the same experiences. The website eventually grew and women wanted more than just a blog, they wanted forums, they wanted a connection, they wanted a bit of structure and privacy.

In 2011 I started an online support group for women in a relationship with a sex addict. This group has helped thousands of women from all over the world.

Because of that success I decided to expand the focus and offer support groups that cover any issue that the community needs. In addition online support groups allows for more interaction with more people, not just in your geographic area but with peers from all across the globe.

So, give it a try. It’s free. My only requirement is that everyone be respectful to each other…these are support groups, we are here to help one another.

 

 

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I'm not around right now but you can send me an email and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. JoAnn

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©2018 JoAnn Russell RN, MS

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