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6 Benefits of Peer Support for Mental Health

During the last few years there has been an amazing shift in the world of mental health. People have begun to understand that the mental health issues that someone may struggle with does not define them, and that they need support and love from their family and peers.

The stigma that once hung-over depression, anxiety and other mental disorders is lifting, making it easier for people to come to terms with their illnesses and seek the help they need to heal. An extremely beneficial way to combat mental illness is to attend peer support groups for mental health. Here is a list from clinical psychologist David Susman PhD of six reasons a support group could best serve your needs.

1. Realize you are not alone

It is so important to come to terms with the understanding that you are not alone. Mental illness often has people trapped within their own minds and if you can see that other people are struggling just like you and can relate to what you’re feeling it can help you as you learn to live with your condition.

2. Express your feelings

A great way to start getting out of your own head is to talk about what you are feeling. The more you venture to say things out loud, the more tangible the problem will become for you. This opens the door for you to begin recognizing and understanding your own feelings.

3. Learn helpful information

A huge benefit of talking with other people that have similar struggles is that they may know some helpful information that you haven’t heard before. This could be anything from a therapist having a unique way of explaining techniques to help with anxiety to a new medication that is working wonders for a peer.

4. Gain hope

Being able to speak with other people who have not only gone through the darkness that you are experiencing, but have made it out the other side stronger can do a lot to boost your morale. Connection can be healing, and having understanding peers to lean on when times are hard can be life changing.

5. Help others

Joining a peer support group won’t just help you, but it can also help the other people in your group. Your story is unique and needs to be shared so others can learn from what you have managed to overcome. Never underestimate the power of your personal journey.

6. Affordability

In some very real ways joining a peer support group could save you tons in medical bills. Studies have shown that people in support groups are less likely to be re-hospitalized and spend time in in-patient care facilities.

If you think that joining a peer support group could benefit you or someone that you love, Jackson House offers free virtual alumni support groups via Zoom every Wednesday from 6-7pm (PST). Our Alumni Support Group is a safe space to share and talk freely about all things mental health. The Alumni Support Group goal is to allow for connection and to discuss ways to cope with challenges. We aim to support each other in reducing distress, depression, anxiety or fatigue. Each group has a guest speaker who shares their recovery journey. For more information or to sign up please call 951-261-8392.

About the author

Jackson House

Jackson House

We built Jackson House because we realized there was a critical gap in our healthcare system and many individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems were struggling because of it. While there are many outpatient treatment options and locked, inpatient facilities there was nothing in the middle. Nothing to help people who needed around the clock care but wanted to receive treatment voluntarily, on their own terms. Jackson House is different. We provide clients with the level of care they need in a welcoming environment. When you walk through our doors, we will meet you wherever you’re at and help you on your journey toward feeling better.

It's time to feel better

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If you’re a provider and need to send us information on a client, please feel free to fax us at 619-303-7044. If you need help immediately, call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-766-4274. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Jackson House is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division and certified by the Department of Health Care Services. We are also CARF Accredited. If you have any client or quality of care concerns, please reach out to us at 888-255-9280. If your concerns need further attention, you can contact the Department of Public Health at 619-278-3700 or the Community Care Licensing Division at 1-844-538-8766.