Online Support Groups: The Best 5 Support Groups Online In 2020

Need online support groups? Are you struggling with personal life challenges or mental health issues? Are you in need of support around matters that are emotional? Perhaps you are searching for support groups for your loved ones? Great news, you’ve come to the right place!

My name is Sean Galla, and I have facilitated online support groups for more than 10 years. In my years of service, support groups have helped thousands of men through a wide variety of challenging situations and emotional issues. 

In this article, I will be covering everything you need to know about online support groups. 

Sean Galla

Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

Why Online Support Groups?

For men, a significant issue they face is dealing with emotional stress, overwhelm, paralysis, apathy, and more. Men are raised to be strong in whatever situation life throws at them. Peer support is almost nonexistent. For this reason, they feel embarrassed to show their emotional vulnerabilities. When faced with severe stress, it affects mental health. According to research, more men than women die by suicide every year. The notion that seeking help is unmanly holds them back from getting the best support they need to overcome issues. This does not have to be the case.

There are safe spaces where you can get help to overcome difficult emotional hurdles if you are a man struggling with mental health issues or emotional issues.  

Read on to learn everything you need to know about how to start support group and how they can be of benefit to you or a loved one is going through a challenging time. 

What Are Support Groups? 

As it has been the custom, people are inclined to speak about emotionally distressing issues they face with someone they know or in a similar situation, and in most cases, with a mental health professional. A majority of men prefer not to discuss these issues at all. This is mainly because they lack a platform where they can share their problems without looking or feeling vulnerable.

Thanks to computer technology, there is a shift in the way people can share information or seek help. Online men’s groups are safe spaces where people, especially men, can share issues related to depression, anxiety, alcoholism, eating disorders, or stress from the privacy of their homes.

Online support groups can serve as support systems or as therapeutic components of a mental health treatment plan.

These support groups target specific issues or illnesses. There is a complete guide to finding the right support for people coping with grief, people who recently got a chronic illness diagnosis, people living with addiction, and people facing tough times. They offer the perfect platform for individuals who previously avoided peer physical support systems. Members of these support groups report feeling supported and validated when they find the right online groups to join.

The Support Groups Structure 

online support groups

Access

You need a computer and internet connection to be able to access an online support group. They can be reached through internet portals such as Yahoo, or even through specialized websites. 

Formation 

Some online support groups function in real-time, while others function through newsgroups. These are termed as either synchronous groups or asynchronous groups.

Synchronous groups – these are interactive online meetings.   They offer chat rooms where members can communicate anonymously in real-time over text. In these peer support groups; one can use pseudonyms as a way of maintaining their privacy. This is best if you prefer to seek help anonymously. The meetings happen at specified times to ensure there is consistent participation from the members. The sessions last for one hour on average, and members are free to express their emotions through emoticons.    

Asynchronous groups – these are groups that are available 24/7 by text or telephone calls. In these groups, members can post FAQs or messages to the general audience or a specific member whenever they want to. Asynchronous support groups also allow members to use pseudonyms and get the help they need regardless of their time zones as messages are available throughout.

The group leader 

Online support groups are facilitated by group leaders who can be mental health professionals or sometimes non-professionals. The host primarily functions as a resource person as opposed to an online counselor. They make use of their human relations skills to help members disseminate information and express their feelings.

The group leader also offers help with finding a helpline, mental illness crisis centers, and self-help resources. They can also recommend links for online support group topics that deal with more specific needs such as bipolar disorder support or other specialized mental health support and emotional support groups.

5 Best Support Groups Online of 2020

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 

https://adaa.org/adaa-online-support-group

If you are struggling with depression or anxiety or have loved ones and family members who are struggling with mental illness, the anxiety and depression association America is the best online support group for you. This group provides you with resources and information on depression and anxiety. It also offers an anonymous peer support group with more than 40,000 members from different parts of the world. You are not alone!

The goal of the online forums on this website is to offer you a friendly and safe environment where you can share your experiences and information. When you join the group, you get to be in the company of people who understand what you are going through. This forum is accessible through your mobile devices and a desktop. 

Mensgroup

Men’s Group

This is an online support group specifically for men. It is tailored to offering emotional support as a way of creating a positive community and starting conversations and forums where men can share their life stresses in free space. This is one of the most active online forums for men and father support groups. It is the perfect place to interact with other people who have gone through similar life issues and have managed to find their way through. Their insight is invaluable. 

Mensgroup is the perfect place if you need to talk to people who are not your family or co-workers. During the online support group, you join virtual chat rooms or forums where you can share your life issues instead of bottling it inside. Here, you will find people facing the same challenges, and this takes away the shame that might hold you back from sharing and getting the help you need.

online groups

GriefShare

https://www.griefshare.org/

GriefShare is a group of caring people who are willing to walk with you through one of the most challenging experiences in life if you are struggling with the loss of a loved one. This is a church initiative and is a nondenominational and non-profit ministry. You do not have to go through the grief process alone. 

There are thousands of GriefShare groups in America and all over the world. While this is usually a physical meeting group, it is currently offering online support in line with the COVID-19 prevention guidelines

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

https://www.nami.org/

This is one of America’s largest mental health organizations. It is dedicated to helping its members to build better lives despite living with mental illnesses. It is a grassroots mental health support group with 600+ local affiliations and at least 45+ organizations in different states. Nami works with diverse communities to create awareness of mental health while at the same time providing support. It also educates the locals on matters related to different mental health conditions as a way of offering the help that is usually unavailable to people in need. 

Nami connection is a support group for people living with mental health conditions. While the organization usually holds physical meetings, it is possible to get help online through chat rooms, phone support meetings, and forums. 

Supportgroups.com 

https://www.supportgroups.com/

This is a platform that enables you to connect with other people going through different life challenges. It provides updated information on different life issues and where to get help and also avails an online meeting space.  

Supportgroups.com offers a wide range of groups you can join after signing up on the platform. Different groups on the platforms discuss different issues such as bullying, ADHD, back pain, self-esteem, stress, and different addictions

This site allows you to volunteer in person-to-person support groups where you can offer to help members who are having a hard time. Once you sign up as a volunteer, you will be connected to someone who wants to talk. 

Benefits of Support Groups 

how do you find support groups

These online support groups can find help and healing for the suffering due to separation.  You can find benefits for the divorce support groups as well that give the best support.

Finding support groups is a helpful tool that helps you strengthen and empower yourself. We’ve made a list of the benefits of both offline and online support groups to many people.

Better exchange of information 

There is a better exchange of important information in online support groups. The resources are easily shared online and stored in online folders, which makes retrieval easy. This kind of information exchange may not be possible in in-person support groups. 

Round the clock availability 

For people going through a dark patch, emotional support is needed around the clock. With the right online support group, it is possible to join a meeting or talk to someone regardless of the time of day or night. you can use the helpline to contact an emotional support group.  

It is anonymous

As mentioned earlier, it can be difficult for some people to seek help since they prefer not to make themselves known or identified by their problems. Online support groups are the best option for people struggling with social anxiety or people who need to protect their privacy even as they seek help. 

Additional help

In addition to online peer meetings, online support forums provide additional assistance such as phone or in-person psychotherapy or other therapeutic interventions when need be. Some online groups offer family support to families facing issues and stressful life change caused by the emotional stress of mental health issues. 

Conclusion 

Online support groups are an alternative support vehicle for people going through distress and need to connect with people who understand what they are going through. These groups have improved access and the delivery of peer support to people who prefer not to join in-person meetings and support groups. They are ideal for people of all ages, including young adults in need of help. 

As a man, you can still get emotional help online if you are faced with isolation due to physical or medical unavailability. Mensgroup is an online community support group for men faced with different life challenges. It also offers up to date information and resources related to dealing with different life stresses. It is the perfect place to start your healing journey. Try the free test run at men’s group and find a support forum today.

*Sources:
1. How Do You Find Support Groups
2. What makes a good support group?
3. Are Online Support Groups Effective?
4. Benefits of Support Groups
5. How can a support group help a person deal with stress?
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