What Support Groups Can Do for You
Support groups create safe spaces where people can come together and share their experiences, emotions, and stories. They usually focus on a particular topic and bring together people dealing with that issue. Topics can vary from chronic medical conditions, addiction, and mental illness to cancer, grief, and caregiving. There is usually a facilitator (sometimes a peer) and ample opportunities to share personal stories about challenges, barriers, and successes. It can often be good just to vent and process what is going on in your life in a space where everyone else in the room gets it. Or you can just listen and appreciate that you aren’t alone in feeling the way you do.
Support groups to consider:
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Tennessee offers three types of support groups:
- With Hope in Mind© (WHM) Groups are for family members and friends of persons with mental illness. They are facilitated by specially-trained family members who understand because they are care providers, too.
- BRIDGES© (Building Recovery of Individual Dreams and Goals through Education and Support) Groups provide support for people living with mental illness. BRIDGES support groups are facilitated by trained peers who are living in recovery.
- Combined Groups are when family members and people with mental illness combine to form a mixed group that is inclusive of anyone who attends.
To find out more about NAMI’s support groups, call the NAMI Tennessee toll-free helpline at 800-467-3589 or click here to find support groups broken down by region. Also, visit Frequently Asked Questions about NAMI Support Groups.
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Tennessee (DBSA) offers peer support groups for individuals living with a mood disorder, particularly depression and bipolar disorder. DBSA is peer led, targeted, innovative, wellness centered, and nationally recognized. To find a DBSA support group, click here.
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered 12-step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind. Celebrate Recovery groups are faith-based support groups and may include mental health, addiction, co-occurring disorders or both mental illness and substance use disorder, or other issues, such as domestic violence or divorce recovery. Visit https://locator.crgroups.info to find a group in your area.
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are 12-step programs where people come to find recovery from addiction. Double Trouble in Recovery is a 12-step program for people in recovery from both mental illness and substance use disorder.
Other addictions – 12-step support groups exist for many kinds of issues, including overeating, codependence, and sex addictions. For a lengthy list of 12-step programs, click here.
Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem.
Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA)/Dysfunctional Families is a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition program of men and women who grew up in dysfunctional homes. We meet to share our experience of growing up in an environment where abuse, neglect and trauma infected us. This affects us today and influences how we deal with all aspects of our lives. ACA provides a safe, nonjudgmental environment that allows us to grieve our childhoods and conduct an honest inventory of ourselves and our family-so we may (i) identify and heal core trauma, (ii) experience freedom from shame and abandonment, and (iii) become our own loving parents.
Al-Anon is a mutual support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. By sharing common experiences and applying the Al-Anon principles, families and friends of alcoholics can bring positive changes to their individual situations, whether or not the alcoholic admits the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help.
Alateen, a part of the Al-Anon Family Groups, is a fellowship of young people (mostly teenagers) whose lives have been affected by somone else’s drinking, whether they are in your life drinking or not. By attending Alateen, teenagers meet other teenagers with similar situations. Alateen is not a religious program and there are no fees or dues to belong to it.
Welcome to Co-Dependents Anonymous, a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships. The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and loving relationships.
No matter what your problem with food- compulsive overeating, under-eating, food addiction, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, or overexercising- we have a solution.
Re:generation is 12-step discipleship through recovery. By working through biblical steps within an authentic community, people have found freedom from substance abuse, codependency, pornography, eating disorders, depression, fear, control, emotional/physical abuse, same sex attraction, anger, obsessive thoughts and many other personal struggles.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) is a nonprofit network of autonomous, non-professional local groups, dedicated solely to helping individuals achieve and maintain sobriety/abstinence from alcohol and drug addiction, food addiction and more.
Our primary purpose is to stop our addictive sexual behavior and to help others recover from sexual addiction. Recovery was possible for most of us only when we accepted the fact that we were powerless over our addictive sexual behavior and that we were incapable of changing without help from outside ourselves. Many of us came to this realization when we started attending SAA meetings. In that setting we heard stories similar to ours and realized that recovery from our malady was possible. We learned through the SAA Fellowship that we were not hopelessly defective.
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, or SLAA, is a program for anyone who suffers from an addictive compulsion to engage in or avoid sex, love, or emotional attachment. We use the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous to recover from these compulsions.
Sexaholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover.
To support individuals who have chosen to abstain, or are considering abstinence from any type of addictive behaviors (substances or activities), by teaching how to change self-defeating thinking, emotions, and actions; and to work towards long-term satisfactions and quality of life.