Support Groups: You're Not Alone
Everyone faces stress in their life, some more than others, whether it's an illness, a life change, a job, etc., but not everyone reaches out in their time of need. If you feel overwhelmed, like no one understands, or you just need to talk to someone, support groups might be for you. Support groups do just that, support you, so they could be super beneficial to anyone, especially those who need additional support to cope with any kind of life stressor.
Support groups are gatherings of people who share a common health concern or interest, and they usually focus on a specific situation or condition such as heart disease, depression, or breast cancer. Members of these groups often share experiences and advice, and it can be helpful to talk to people who have been in the same boat.
With today’s technology, support groups come in many shapes and sizes – they could be in person, over the phone, through a web forum, or on a video conference call. They could be led by a professional such as a doctor or therapist, or they may be a group of friends who are getting together to discuss their shared situation. There is a group to fit everyone’s individual needs.
There are a multitude of benefits to participating in a support group:
- Feeling less lonely and isolated
- Gaining a sense of control
- Improving coping skills
- Talking about your experience
- Reducing stress
- Preparing for the future
- Getting advice
- Making new connections
If you’re interested in finding a support group, ask your doctor for assistance – they frequently can recommend groups that they know of. Newspapers and community centers are also a great resource to check. You can also Google support groups in your area – they are available as emails, chat rooms, blogs, and over social media sites.
When you have found a group that you are interested in make sure to ask about the procedures of the group to be certain that it’s a good fit for you. What is it geared towards? Where do they meet and how often? Does it meet your needs? Sit in on a couple sessions and see if you feel comfortable.
You may be nervous at first – and that’s okay! Sometimes it’s better to just sit and listen your first few times attending a meeting. Sharing can help you get the most out of your support group experience, but only do so when you are ready. Keep in mind that support groups aren’t a substitute for medical treatment, so be sure to keep your doctor in the loop about what group you’re going to.
Overall, support groups are a very beneficial method for coping, and are a great place to seek comfort and advice during a difficult time.
Northern New Mexico has the following Support Groups:
Multiple Myeloma Support Group:
-The Santa Fe Multiple Myeloma support group is open to survivors and caregivers! This group meets the 1st Wednesday of every month from 11:30am-1:30 pm.
Moreno Valley Support Group
-The Moreno Valley cancer support group serves Red River, Eagle Nest, Angel Fire, and Black Lake. This group welcomes survivors and caregivers of all cancers the 2nd & 4th Friday of every month from 5:30-7PM.
Santa Fe Support Group
-The Santa Fe support group accepts women with all cancers! The group meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month from 4-5:30 PM.
Taos Support Group
-The Taos support group is open to survivors and caregivers of all cancers! The group meets every Tuesday from 5-6 PM.
If you are interested in any of these groups please call 505-242-3263 or toll free at 888-441-4439!