The sheer number of social networks, online communities, virtual support groups, apps, and other Internet-based ways to communicate now can leave one feeling overwhelmed and possibly even anxious. But what about those who are truly suffering from anxiety or depression and find it difficult to express themselves in a secure, stigma-free, and supportive environment? We know peer-to-peer online communities can be helpful when they are done in a sensitive, informative, and respectful way.
Another essential factor is security. People who have depression, anxiety, or other related disorders, might not feel comfortable or safe or find it difficult to discuss and be open about their mental health issues. Particularly online.
It takes a special platform to understand and recognize not just the importance of having a social network for people with mental health challenges to share their experiences and engage in dialogue with one another, but to provide a dedicated, unbiased, and welcoming peer-to-peer community.
That’s why we have partnered with Health Unlocked to host online mental health communities, promote patient empowerment, and allow for shared experiences and the posting of personal stories.
Some benefits to the ADAA online support groups include:
- Take advantage of an English and/or Spanish support group
- Access a free, anonymous, and safe community
- Connect with other members experiencing anxiety, depression, and related disorders
- Ask and answer questions like why does depression come and go or what does anxiety feel like?
- Share information, support, and discuss challenges and triumphs
- Contribute to ongoing conversations or start new conversations
Positive interaction is essential, and human connection is critical for any health issue, but in mental health, it is even more significant for people to form communities and bond over shared experience. At ADAA we know that feeling alone, hopeless, and desperate can be symptoms of anxiety and depression but there is help, support and compassion. Whether in person or online, part of our mission is to ensure information on evidence-based research, treatment and support is made available to the public. In doing so, like Health Unlocked, we take a comprehensive approach to helping people come together, share knowledge and cope with their conditions.
The value of community has been known for centuries. After all, the expression “it takes a village” has been used so often that it has become a cliché. But common sayings like that hold a lot of truth. Today there is an online village for almost anything you can imagine. If you are looking for a mental health support group that focuses on anxiety and depression and offers quality support and a shared vision, please consider joining one of ADAA’s online, friendly support communities: English and Spanish
One member called the platform “a veritable oasis of support and hope” while another said it provided “more space for (us) to live, talk and share thoughts.” But neither they nor I can speak for anyone else. And to use another cliché that seems appropriate here but is being said in the spirit of support and knowing how much a peer-to-peer community can help: You never know unless you try.