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. Visit
https://namitn.org/nami-support-group-faqs/ for answers to 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 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.
Survivors of suicide groups are support groups for anyone who has lost a loved one through suicide. Click here to find a group in your area.