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What is a Support Group?

It is a gathering of people who share a common concern or interest. ‘I became aware of how much it helped to know I wasn’t the only one going through this…’ (Carer, Carer’s Group)

It was the only place I could say how I feel, and people would understand – Member, Bereavement Support Group

Support groups bring together people facing similar issues, caring, parenting, bereavement, illness, sexuality, separation and so. Members of support groups often share experiences and advice. It can be helpful just getting to talk with other people who are in the same boat.

While not everyone wants or needs support beyond that offered by family and friends, you may find it helpful to turn to others outside your immediate circle. A support group can help you cope better and feel less isolated as you make connections with others facing similar challenges. A support group shouldn’t replace your existing family supports, but it can be a valuable resource to help you cope.

I found I could cope with the support, caring and understanding from others in my support group – Member Family & Friends of LGBT Support Groups

 

Listowel Family Resource Centre Support Groups:

Our Support Groups are facilitated by and/or supported by professional staff. It is not group therapy but a place to share experiences and offer peer support to one another.

Some of our Support Groups offer an educational and information element, e.g. inviting speakers such as a doctor, specialist organisation relevant to the issue, Public Health Nurse etc. who would talk about a topic related to the group’s needs.

Some offer wellness workshops, e.g. meditation, good mental health etc. This is led by the Support Groups wishes and needs.

ALL Support Groups offer emotional support, sharing of experiences and practical advice and tips to cope with your situation.

Benefits of Support Groups:

Benefits of participating in support groups may include:

  • Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
  • Gaining a sense of empowerment and control
  • Improving your coping skills and sense of adjustment
  • Talking openly and honestly about your feelings
  • Reducing distress, depression or anxiety
  • Developing a clearer understanding of what to expect with your situation
  • Getting practical advice or information about your situation
  • Comparing notes about resources, e.g. health systems, education systems, specialised organisations etc