Forbes Health: Your Ultimate Resource for Top-Notch Depression Support Groups

Online Depression Support Groups: Where to Find Help

Living with depression can take a toll on an individual’s personal, professional and social life—sapping their energy levels and putting strains on their relationships. For many, seeking help from a professional is a first line of defense against this condition. However, individuals may also benefit from the support and encouragement of others who share similar experiences.

Virtual support groups are an accessible option for those who may lack the time or the geographical distance to attend in-person meetings. In this article, we will highlight some of the online depression support groups to consider.

NAMI Connection

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, commonly known as NAMI, offers a weekly recovery support group. The 90-minute meetings are facilitator-led by peers who have undergone similar struggles as their fellow members and have received training to guide group discussions. The peer-led groups are available at no cost and meet weekly, biweekly or monthly either in-person or via video-conferences, depending on one’s location.

DBSA Online Support Groups

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) provide some depression support groups customized for specific groups or issues, such as young adults or military veterans. The peer-led groups are available at no cost and are hosted by the HeyPeers platform. DBSA also has a directory of region-specific depression support groups, including in-person and online options, led by peers, therapists, or medical professionals.

MHA Support Community

Mental Health America (MHA) offers online support groups for various mental health problems, including depression, through Inspire, a free platform that gives users access to topic-based community chat rooms 24/7. Moderators are on duty around the clock to assure group safety.

PostPartum Support International

PSI offers over 20 types of online support groups for postpartum issues, many of which include depression as the primary focal point. The sessions last 90 minutes each, including one hour of group discussions (hosted on HeyPeers).

Benefits of Virtual Support Groups

While there is still room for research on the long-term impact of virtual support groups, they provide a sense of belonging, emotional comfort, and a safe space to express oneself similar to their in-person counterparts. Virtual support groups offer the additional benefit of being accessible regardless of geographic location. For those with busy schedules that pose logistical challenges to physical meetings or for those living with social anxiety, online support groups may be a preferable option.

Find Support

Living with depression can be challenging, but connecting with others and building a support system can help. Virtual support groups are an excellent option for those who prefer online platforms and can provide a sense of belonging while reducing depressive symptoms. If you are struggling with depression and considering finding a support group, we hope this list helps you.

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