Finding a Support Group for Adults and Children with Mental Illness

For those with mental health concerns, having access to the proper support is a vital part of understanding themselves and healing. Not only can support groups help recovery, but they also provide a way for family and friends to learn and grow with their loved ones.

The Role of Support Groups

While one out of every five Americans is living with a serious mental health condition, only about 60 percent of those receive mental health care. Support groups can be a vital link that provides a platform for people to share experiences and feelings while realizing that other people not only feel the same but share similar thoughts and concerns.  They can be a safe space to grow and learn from others.

Getting Help for Your Loved One

Medical Professionals

Whether you are a family member, a caregiver or you are living with a mental health condition, you might think of turning to your physician for help in finding a support group. While the medical profession's understanding of mental health, and the challenges faced by those who live with it is changing, they often lack knowledge of the local resources available in terms of support groups.

In many instances, individuals have had a less-than-favorable experience within the medical profession. Whether it is a frustrating experience with a physician that doesn't acknowledge their need for help or a hospitalization that was unwanted, many individuals may not feel comfortable seeking advice from the medical community. Additionally, some simply have no insurance or they are under-insured.

School or College Support Services

Children and adults who attend school or college can often tap into their support services, if available, for recommendations for support groups. Due to their need to offer a range of services, however, it is likely that such recommendations will lean toward general issues rather than anything focused exclusively on mental health.

NAMI Connecticut

NAMI Connecticut is the only state organization in Connecticut that is affiliated with NAMI -- the National Alliance on Mental Illness. With its focus on providing support, hope, understanding and healing for those who live with mental health conditions of any type, it  provides peer-led mental health support groups; that is family member groups are facilitated by other family members; people in recovery facilitate groups for those with mental health conditions.  NAMI Connecticut trains all of its group facilitators and provides more than 40 support groups scattered across the state.  Most of them are linked to a local affiliate. New ones are added all the time.

In addition to a deep understanding and acceptance, NAMI Connecticut support groups provide information on advocacy, education and opportunities and strategies to help participants move toward recovery. These free and confidential support groups welcome individuals who face a number of challenges.

NAMI Connecticut also offers a range of different information options and services designed to benefit those in the mental health community and those who are simply interested in learning more.  Contact NAMI Connecticut today at (860) 882-0236 or (800) 215-3021 for more information.

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