Depression Support: Why You Need It, Where to Find It
Why You Need Support for Depression
While medication and therapy are the cornerstones of depression treatment, depression support is also an integral part in successful depression recovery. Support might come from friends and family or, more formally, from depression support groups or online depression support.
Depression support groups are primarily peer-run organizations although sometimes professionals are involved. Support groups for depression may be through a community organization, charity or faith group. People often find that being in a group of others going through the same mental health challenges can support their depression recovery in a way that formal treatments do not.
Depression Support Groups
The traditional form of depression support is through an in-person depression support group. Support groups are not group therapy but they do offer a safe space to explore issues around living with a mental illness.
Members in a depression support group get to talk about their particular challenges in living with depression. Then, other members of the support group for depression suggest helpful coping techniques and offer their support to the person. This builds a community of like-minded people all working to support each other’s treatment and recovery.[i]
Organizations that run depression support groups may also offer additional services like:[ii]
- Educational sessions
- Libraries of information on depression
- Special events
- Advocacy groups
Online Depression Support
While depression support groups are available throughout North America, for a variety of reasons, a person may not be able to attend an in-person group. This is where online depression support can come in. Online depression support groups can offer similar types of support as traditional depression support groups but are available from the comfort of your own home.
Online depression support groups are typically forums where an individual can post a question, topic or concern and then others will respond to it with their own depression advice. Online depression support groups are typically moderated by peers but may also be moderated by the organization hosting the support group.
Live depression chat support may also be available with peers or with professionals. Depression chat support can also be found on places like Facebook and Twitter.
Where to Find Depression Support Groups
Many agencies offer depression support and there are also many sources of online depression support. Depression support groups can be found through:
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) – offers online support groups as well as in-person depression support groups, newsletters, educational sessions and special events
- Mental Health America – offers links to depression support groups as well as support groups for other mental health issues
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – offers multiple types of support groups as well as advocacy support and other resources
- HealthyPlace.com Mental Health Forums and Chat - offers online support groups for depression and other mental illnesses as well as live chat
Last Updated: 18 June 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD