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The Importance of Support Groups

1 year ago on Sunday, April 1, 2018

Do you have a chronic illness, condition or addiction, and feel like no one understands how you feel? Or have you been recently diagnosed with a new medical condition, and are wondering where to turn to for more information?

Well, your answer might be found in a support group.

Support groups come in all shapes and sizes: Some are led by a professional counselor, social worker, or nurse at a hospital or clinic. Others are led by a family member or a volunteer affected by the condition, and held at a nonprofit organization, a community center, church, or someone’s home. The focus of support groups varies from diabetes, breast cancer, traumatic brain injury, depression, PTSD, alcoholism, parents of children with special needs, or family caregivers.

So, what are the benefits of joining a support group?

  • Knowing you are not alone, and that others are experiencing the same or similar experiences. This can also reduce feelings of stress, depression and isolation;
  • Learning new information or resources about a condition or disease, along with possible coping skills and
  • treatment options;
  • Being able to share or talk freely about your feelings in a safe and accepting environment;
  • Developing social skills and possibly making lasting friendships beyond the support group; and
  • Gaining hope and developing a sense of empowerment.

Several years ago, I went through a period of depression as a result of a traumatic situation. One of things that helped me through that difficult time was attending a support group. At first I was a little reluctant to share what I had gone through, and how I was feeling, but with time it became easier. During my time with the group, not only did I learn ways to cope with the depression, but I also learned how to feel more like “me” again!

Now, you might be wondering where you can locate a support in your community. One place is to ask your doctor, clinic, or hospital. Another place to check is your local library or community center. The internet is also a great resource for locating support groups, especially for specific diseases and conditions. Check out...

For a complete online list of support groups from A to Z, try M.S. Support Group: 3rd Wednesday of each month, 11:30am-1pm @ Hearth Stone, 802 E Mountain View Ave. Contact Dave Artz – 933-2687

Healthfinder.gov

Here is a list of some support groups in the Ellensburg area:

  • Women with Disabilities Support Group: 4th Friday of each month, 3pm-4pm @ CWDR, 200 East 4th, Contact Gretchen Thatcher – 962-9620
  • PTSD/Trauma Support Group: 1st Wednesday of each month, 4pm-5pm @ CWDR, 200 East 4th, Contact Mark Manning – 962-9620
  • TLC Support Group: 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month, 2pm-4pm @ Grace Episcopal Church, 201 N B St, Contact ALTC – 925-8765
  • Ellensburg Caregiver Support Group: 3rd Thursday of each month, 2pm-3:30pm @ Hal Holmes, 209 N Ruby, Contact Erica Batchelder – 962-7242 200 E 4th Ave Ellensburg, WA 98926 509-962-9620 ph 509-933- fax Mycwdr.com
  • M.S. Support Group: 3rd Wednesday of each month, 11:30am-1pm @ Hearth Stone, 802 E Mountain View Ave, Contact Dave Artz – 933-2687
  • ASPEN Domestic Violence Support Group: Every Wednesday, 5pm-7pm - Free & Confidential, 100 E Jackson Ave, Suite 301, Contact: ASPEN – 925-9384
  • Parent2Parent Support Group: 2nd Tuesday of each month, 6:30 pm, @ Rodeo City BBQ, Contact Michelle Williams -- 509-929-7277
  • KVH - Cancer Support Group: 2nd Monday of each month (excluding Dec, Jan, June & July), Noon, KVH Conference Room A&B on 2nd Floor, Contact: 962-7322

While support groups may not be for everyone, but they can be a good option for anyone looking to connect and share with others. There is only one way to determine if it is right for you – attend one today!

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