Support Groups and Mental Health
There are many studies (and meta-studies called “literature reviews,” or studies about studies) that prove time and again that support groups are effective. Take the data from an Australian organization that provides a variety of mental health support groups:
85% of participants felt an improved sense of personal value
77% of participants experienced an improved sense of belonging and connection with the community
81% of participants reported an improved network of friends and personal supports
67% of participants said that GROW had directly contributed to their recovery from mental illness.
Those numbers are pretty compelling, aren’t they? And the beauty of a support group is that no matter the challenge you’re facing, there’s probably a group for it. Common types of support groups include:
Grief support groups
Medical support groups
Eating disorder support groups
Family support groups
Life transition support groups
Addiction support groups
Mental health support groups
If you believe that a support group might be something that would help in your healing, it can be overwhelming knowing where exactly to begin. Your professional care team is a great place to start; doctors, hospitals, and therapists may have many resources to point you toward. Additionally, nonprofit organizations related to your area of interest often host support groups. And as always, we hold group support space right here in Reframe through our Thrive coaching program.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, August 29). How to choose the right support group. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/support-groups/art-20044655.
Pfeiffer, P. N., Heisler, M., Piette, J. D., Rogers, M. A., & Valenstein, M. (2011). Efficacy of peer support interventions for depression: a meta-analysis. General hospital psychiatry, 33(1), 29–36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2010.10.002
Support groups. Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders. (n.d.). http://www.minddisorders.com/Py-Z/Support-groups.html.
Worrall, Hugh; Schweizer, Richard; Marks, Ellen; Yuan, Lin; Lloyd, Chris; and Ramjan, Rob, "The effectiveness of support groups: a literature review" (2018). Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health - Papers: part A. 5441. https://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/5441