What are Support Groups?
A support group is an organized group of individuals who meet regularly to create a safe, supportive environment to share a common experience. Individuals come together to listen to each other; and share information and feelings in mutually supportive, helping relationships. This is done in an attempt to gain insights and learn new coping techniques to improve mental health and empower individuals.
CHANNAL currently offers three types of support groups, based on the common experience of living with a mental illness. These groups are based on the concept of peer support and typically meet once a week. They are:
- Social Groups: An organized group of individuals who meet regularly and participate in social activities and general, less-structured conversations. The aim is to remain positive, supportive and recovery-focused.
- Consumers-Run Groups: An organized group of individuals who meet regularly and follow a set structure of participation. The group addresses a specific topic.
- Virtual Support Groups: A type of consumer-run group that occurs on the internet, providing added benefits for individuals to connect across space, allowing access to individuals in locations where support groups are otherwise not offered.
It is the individual’s responsibility to have a safe plan in place should crisis occur. CHANNAL support groups are not designed to support individuals in crisis situations. The group, however, can be a component of that plan.