Q:

How do you locate family support groups in your area?

A:

Quick Answer

Find local family support groups by searching the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's database located at HealthFinder.gov/FindServices. Mental Health organizations also sponsor online databases of family support groups such as the Depression and BiPolar Support Alliance at DBSalliance.org and Mental Health America at MentalHealthAmerica.net/find-support-groups.

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Full Answer

Families can find local support groups by inquiring with social service departments at schools, colleges and universities or by contacting private psychotherapists for sponsored groups. Local hospitals and medical facilities also host family support groups focusing on caregiving, behavioral issues, mental health challenges, and for individuals coping with specific diseases or conditions.

Families can also take advantage of online support groups, browse through self-help blogs, and engage in discussion boards and online communities that focus on common family struggles or challenges if it is not possible to attend an in-person support group within the local area.

Support groups offer families a space to share experience, stories and struggles to connect with one another and reduce a sense of loneliness or isolation, explains Mental Health America. Support groups are commonly focused on family issues such as grief, depression or divorce, and participants and facilitators offer encouragement and strategies to help diffuse stressful situations or encounters with family members.

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