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The Covid-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone. However, for those struggling with mental health problems, the pandemic has brought on additional difficulties. People are unable to see their mental health providers, doctors, and therapists in person, and cannot attend certain support groups that many utilized as a sacred space to find help.
According to the World Health Organization, over 67% of countries reported disruptions to mental health services such as counseling and psychotherapy. On top of that, a recent poll found that 53% of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus. Though supportive therapy techniques have always been important, it seems that now more than ever people are in need of additional support services.
Fortunately, many mental health support groups have been moved online and are now happening virtually. While there are inevitable benefits from in-person meetings, hopefully, these virtual groups will provide some level of connection and understanding. Additionally, online support groups have the added benefit of flexible participation and can serve individuals in places where support groups were not previously available to them.
Before joining a support group, whether virtually or in person, there are a few things you should think about to make sure you get the most out of the experience. For one, think about what type of support you’re looking for. There are basically support groups for any type of mental health issue: from anxiety and depression to eating disorders and substance abuse. There are even generalized groups that are created solely to serve as a sense of community to better your well-being and decrease feelings of isolation.
Once you’ve given some thought on what type of group you’re looking for, be acquainted with what a typical support group may look like. Sometimes people may feel nervous about joining a group, which is completely normal. It’s good to know that in most groups, it’s more than okay for participants just to join and listen. If you do not feel ready or interested in opening up about your personal struggles, that is just fine. A support group, especially a support group for your mental health, is supposed to be a helpful experience where you can hear from others dealing with similar situations, about their own various challenges and solutions. Like most experiences, it’s a learning opportunity.
If you’re thinking about joining a support group, or you were in a support group that’s been put on hold due to the pandemic, these are some great options to look into!
During a time this difficult, it is more than understandable to want to reach out for any type of connection that you can get. These support group options are offering more than that, and giving you an opportunity to connect with others that are experiencing similar worries, fears, or difficulties. So, if you are beginning to feel alone in your situation, or missing a group that you once were a part of, make sure to look into these options!
In partnership with CalHOPE connect, PB is now offering safe, secure, and culturally sensitive emotional support for all Californians 🌴who may need support relating to COVID-19.If you are someone you know is in need of extra support, please reach out to www.calhopeconnect.org or call (833) 317-4673 to live chat or speak directly with a peer crisis counselor.