When you have a mental illness, sometimes the thought of leaving your house for a support group meeting can make you cringe. At your lowest times, the last thing you want to do is to have to show up in person at a support group meeting. Maybe you haven’t showered in several days, or you just can’t drag yourself out of bed. Yet, it’s human nature to want to connect with people who understand where we are. It’s at these points that online support groups for people with mental illness becomes a great option.
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Find the Best Online Support Groups for People with Mental Illness
1. Online Mental Health Support Groups and Communities
Being part of a community of like-minded people who have been where you are is comforting. Sharing your experiences and feelings without feeling judged by others is important. Sometimes you might need other’s feedback or encouragement and sometimes you will be the one giving the feedback and encouragement. Finding your “tribe” is a key to coping with your mental illness.
A health and wellness forum discussion online website that hosts several different online support groups and communities on different topics.
This forum-style community is overseen by Dr. John Grohol and a whole team of trained moderators and administrators experienced to offer a safe and secure community.
Daily Strength is a website that offers online support groups and communities on various mental health topics including, children’s mental health, addiction and recovery, breakups and divorce, and more.
My personal favorite online community, the Mighty offers helpful articles as well as community features that allow members to connect to feel understood and not alone. You can follow different topics and people. I am a contributor on the Mighty and would love for you to follow me.
2. Professional Therapy Online Services
You can get online therapy sessions by regular chat, video chat, and texting. You can also call and speak with someone either during a crisis or for regular therapy. 7 Cups of Tea offers and app to connect you with professional counselors and other trained professionals to provide online support in all categories of mental illness.
This website offers communities and support groups called tribes on different health topics. You can also connect with a licensed professional for online therapy.
Better Help offers affordable and convenient online counseling services. You can communicate with your counselors by exchanging messages, over the phone, chatting live, or video conferencing.
3. Facebook Groups
These are all Facebook Groups that I am a part of. If you become a part of a Facebook group as a form of online support you must take note of these important things:
- Don’t accept medical information you find as valid without consulting with your treating physician.
- Don’t accept online activity as replacement for face to face doctor and therapist appointments.
- Make sure it is a positive online community and that you feel good after interacting. If it is not helpful then leave the community.
Mission: “This is a peer-to-peer support group where we are here to share our own personal experiences and support each other by advising one another from our own knowledge of how we deal with our own situations. We are NOT trained professionals who will give medical advice and self-diagnosis is very dangerous so if anyone is asking about diagnosis of mental health or physical conditions, we will advise you to seek proper medical advice from a professional doctor, preferably a psychiatrist. For emotional purposes, seek help from a psychologist or a crisis counselor.”
Mission: “A global peer to peer Facebook support group bringing people together by offering support to those who need it.”
Mission: “This group was created so that people suffering from mental illnesses and their families/caregivers could have a safe place to vent. Living with Bipolar disorder is a daily struggle for many people. Often it requires daily medication and occasional hospitalizations. Please feel free to comment on any post. Bad behavior will not be tolerated. You will learn if your behavior is bad when you get removed from the group, so play nice. Also, this page was not created so that we may be viewed as lab rats. If you do not fall into the criteria of the description of the group, please remove yourself. Welcome! We are here to support each other.”
Mission: “Our mission is to create a place where people who battle any mental illness, their family members, and friends can come to get advice, share their stories, talk about their issues, and interact with their peers.Our Admin team works to create an environment where members feel supported and valued, and where they can express their feelings without judgment.”
Mission: “This group exists as an online community resource for supporting mental health from a Christian worldview. That includes both those struggling with mental health and those who serve to support. All are welcome and we encourage members to share their experiences, thoughts, and any questions you might have relating to Mental Health and Mental illness.”
Mission: “This group is for anyone going through their mental health battle at the moment, or have gone through it, to talk about there experiences/ask questions or ask for advice/help/support. It’s a good place to get to know one another and get to know other people in a similar situation.”
Mission: “We all work together as a small family. Every person is welcome to join the group! It enables people to have a safe space, to be able to rant, ask for advice, or look for some support and kind words. We all have a similar understanding with suffering ourselves, so it’s helped many people engaging in interaction games, commenting affirmations, creating weekly goals and safety plans. Many members have come into Mental Health Inspiration, at their lowest point and have left after their recovery, some continue to stay and others are still discovering us daily.
Our aim is to support one another, prevent the stigma, allow people to express themselves in the group, and offer advice or support based on our experiences/backgrounds. We’ve had many encouraging thank you messages and posts, this group has helped saved many people’s lives including my own! It’s always somewhere to turn too on my darkest days and I know I will have someone to chat to day or night as it’s worldwide.
Plus occasional giveaways that are self-care themed, who doesn’t love goodies?!”
YOU HAVE MANY OPTIONS OF ONLINE SUPPORT GROUPS FOR PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS.
Face-to-face therapy is crucial when you are dealing with a mental illness, so online support should not completely substitute traditional therapy. But, it can fill in the gaps and compliment your therapy with a professional. Online support groups for people with a mental illness can definitely be a lifesaver when you are in an emergency or crisis situation. I have seen the online moderators and administrators intervene and guide people to call a suicide hotline or go to the nearest ER.