Support groups bring people together who share common experiences, seek common goals and otherwise benefit from sharing within a group. There are support groups for many different kinds of disabilities, illnesses, social needs, mental health issues and lifestyle choices. People can even create their own support groups.
Unlike therapy, support groups are rarely led by a mental health professional though there might be an appointed coordinator or facilitator. Through sharing common experiences and feelings, people tend to gain strength, clarity and hope. A majority of support group participants report positive gains from their experience, including mental health benefits.
Self-encouragement, validation, motivation, understanding, guidance, safety, relationships, peace, self-esteem, courage, confidence, comfort and resolve can be realized by participating in a support group.
As people age and friends move on, it is important that human connection remains a goal. Isolation is a great contributor to decline in physical and mental health. Support groups can play a meaningful role in maintaining connection and understanding that personal development is a lifelong opportunity.