Overcoming trauma or facing traumatic incidents is never easy, even if you believe you have an adequate support system available for you in everyday life. Finding a peer support group to join is one way to face any issues and challenges you are dealing with head-on, even if you are in territory that is otherwise unfamiliar to you. With the right peer support group, free yourself from feeling the stress and weight of a traumatic incident or memory as you relearn how to regain control and move forward with your life again.
What is a Peer Support Group?
A peer support group is a group meeting that often involves individuals who have similar interests, lifestyles, or past habits and addictions. Peer support groups are available for just about anyone ranging from newly married and pregnant parents-to-be to individuals who have faced serious jail time or drug addictions. Whether you are seeking a peer support group to help with coping with everyday stressors or if you are seeking a peer support group for your mental and emotional wellbeing, there are support groups for just about anyone.
Locating the best peer support group greatly depends on your own needs and what you are hoping to get out of the group by attending regularly. Before signing up into a new peer support group, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Consider Your Needs
Before choosing a peer support group that is most suitable for your mental and emotional needs, it is important to consider what you intend to get out of the group itself. Take the time to consider the following when researching, reviewing, and comparing peer support groups that are available near you:
- What am I hoping to take away from the peer support group I join?
- Am I interested in meeting weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly?
- Do I want to join a peer support group that requires mandatory attendance, or am I seeking a more casual group?
- How important is my own privacy with the peer support groups I join?
- Is it better for me to join a local peer support group in my own community or am I better off seeking an online peer support group?
- What type of topics and subjects am I comfortable with discussing or covering? Are there any limitations I have set in place personally for the groups I enter and join?
Search for Programs Near You
Call the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) hotline to inquire about peer support groups near you that are relevant to your own needs and the issues you want to address. Speaking with a NAMI representative is extremely beneficial whether you are simply interested in local peer support groups or if you are seeking additional resources to help with any trauma or mental health-related obstacle you are facing.
Check with local community centers and city halls in your area to inquire about peer support groups and free meetings available near you based on the topics or subjects you are most interested in covering.
Join Online Peer Support Groups
Joining an online peer support group is one of the quickest ways to discover camaraderie and friendship from users across the world. Join online peer support groups anonymously using forums and online communities of your choice. It is also possible to join online peer support groups and communities with the use of social media platforms such as Facebook. Joining Facebook groups is one way to connect with other individuals from around the world without requiring the meeting of individuals in person. Using online peer support groups is optimal for those who prefer to communicate with others without the added pressure of doing so in person.
Understanding the role that peer support groups play in overcoming and facing trauma is essential any time you are faced with triggering issues or problems of your own. With the right peer support group and individuals who genuinely have your back, face your trauma without feeling as though there is no hope. Choosing the right peer support group for you can ultimately result in the ability to truly turn your life and future around for the better.