If you’ve ever wondered:-
“Why should we attend support groups?”
“What impact will talking to a bunch of strangers have on me?”
Or something else along those lines, I hear you.
Until my first Support Group experience, I found this whole thing like a rather alien experience and didn’t quite
understand its purpose.
So this week’s blog is just for you- 7 reasons why you should attend a support group 🙂
In this blog, I am going to give you some quick insights from my personal experience and reflect on the impact
Support Groups (SGs) have had on me.
1. To feel heard
I find myself at times feeling alone even while being surrounded by people I know. When I attended my first support
group, I was so startled by the number of people who resonated with each other. We came together because we all
felt strongly about that topic, so the common ground had already been established. I was able to talk about my
experiences, fears and opinions with a heartwarming realisation that they were listening and they understood.
2. To express yourself unabashedly
Something about being in a SG made me feel comfortable to truly be myself. I could share all that I felt and not fear
what others would think of me. There was this current of understanding and lack of judgement that was so tangible,
that it peeled the filters away and helped me open up in minutes.
3. To find hope
There are times in our lives when it all goes a little dark and the light at the end of the tunnel begins to feel fictitious.
At the SG, when I saw people who had overcome the struggles in a journey similar to mine, I found that hope. That
belief that I too could live a happier and healthier life. The realisation that it was possible and the relief that the light
did exist. Once I knew this, working towards a stronger version of myself felt much easier.
4. To self reflect
Self reflection in an SG is one of the most wonderful aspects. There are guided exercises by the therapist or
psychologist moderating the session. I had genuine moments of introspection that made me feel more calm. Small
activities such as the “Wheel of Emotions” allowed me to declutter my head and really understand what I was
feeling and the possible causes behind that.
5. To learn from other people’s experiences
While listening to others talk about their experiences, I gained insights into more effective ways to cope and deal
with my own challenges. As we all shared our coping mechanism and what we do to make ourselves feel better, I
was exposed to innovative recipes for self-care – creative ideas that I had not thought of before.When I heard how
adopting certain techniques have changed other people’s lives for the better, I realized that I too could implement
them in my life.
6. To be more open about mental health in your daily life
Conversations around Mental Health have often been shrouded under stigma. I personally used to feel
uncomfortable talking about my own journey and truth in daily life, even around the people I trusted. Attending the
support group made me realise that sharing your truth is a two way street. I realised with the people around me, that
the more I shared, the more they began to feel comfortable to share.
When I saw people helping each other in the SG, it motivated me to open up and help others as well. I now find
myself being more empathetic towards the people around me, because I understand that we are all struggling,
growing and healing in our own way.
7. To access affordable mental health support
Mental health aids still have a long way to go in terms of being accessible and affordable for all. SGs are a great
avenue for people who may not have the financial resources for individual therapy.
If you haven’t attended a support group yet, do consider giving one a try. I understand that it might seem
overwhelming in the beginning as you don’t really know what to expect. It takes a while to relax and feel
comfortable around new people, but believe me when I say that it can be very encouraging and reassuring in your
mental health journey.