5 free depression support groups chicago

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In this blog we provide you resources for Free depression support groups based in Chicago. 

We will also briefly discuss what depression groups are, what support groups are, what they do, what are the benefits of being part of a support group, and the efficacy of support groups.

Free depression support groups chicago

Here we present to you resources for free depression support groups based in Chicago:

NAMI Connection

This online site offers virtual and in person individual and family support groups that are scheduled weekly for various mental health conditions. 

NAMI Chicago offers free support groups that target different mental health issues that are peer led.

These groups are called”Peer Support Groups’ ‘ that are created for people with mental health issues and conditions so that they can connect with one another and create a supportive environment for each other to recover and grow in. 

The NAMI chicago page also lists that they provide “Family and Friends Support Groups” for people so that they can connect with others who also have family who are struggling with mental health conditions. 

All support groups provided by NAMI connection are free, safe and confidential so that people are provided a space to talk about their experiences with others who are also going through similar issues. 

The groups are also peer led and all group participants must register for groups in advance. After registering, it is likely that the participants will receive a confirmation email along with the Zoom link so that they can join in the call. 

The group also provides interested people with a list of guidelines that they must read and adhere to before joining a virtual support group. 

The site also offers the unique option of peer led support groups that occur on a weekly as well as bi-weekly  basis to encourage each other, offer support, and employ individuals to share their own stories and experiences related to mental health conditions such as depression. 

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is an organisation that offers an online support forum that is peer-led. These online chat rooms function as an online support group for people with depression and bipolar disorder. 

Within this space, people share their experiences as well as share their coping skills and ways to manage their conditions and in this, they cultivate hope and support for each other. 

The DBSA offers online support groups that are free for people who are living with depression as well as bipolar disorder so that they have a safe space in which they can share their experiences, discuss skills, and offer hope to one another. 

These groups are free and are peer-led, meaning they are facilitated by someone who is also living with the same disorder or a certain mood disorder that the group programs are targeted towards. 

This service also provides the service of peer support groups for people whose family members are struggling with depression and other mood disorders.

Healthy Chicago provides a list of the schedules and the locations where the DBSA Support groups are held: 

  • Andersonville/Uptown and it is located at 1650 W Foster Avenue in Chicago, IL. This group meets weekly
  • Berwyn Library that is located at 2701 South Harlem Avenue in Berwyn, IL. In the 2nd floor boardroom. This group meets on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month at 1:00pm. Please call John Ross at (708) 856-1992 prior to attending a meeting here. Free adjacent parking and public transportation are available.
  • Brookfield is located at 8820 Brookfield Avenue in Brookfield, IL. This group meets every Friday at 7:00pm and on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month at 12:00pm. Please call John Ross at (708) 856-1992 prior to attending a meeting here. Free adjacent parking and public transportation are available. Enter through the Police Department side entrance, wave to the dispatcher, and proceed to the lower level and down the hall to Conference Room C.
  • Devon Bank that is located at 6445 North Western Avenue in Chicago, IL. In the lower level of Devon Bank. This group meets on the 4th Monday of each month at 6:30pm. The meeting is for consumers,consumer’s friends and family (individuals younger than 18 years of age are permitted at this meeting). No meetings on bank holidays.
  • Evanston Hospital that is located at 2650 Ridge Avenue in Evanston, IL (please check with the hospital concierge for the room number). This group meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 4:00pm and on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm. Garage parking is available for $3.50 for 2 hours, and public transportation is available If you have any questions about this group – please contact Judy Sturm at (847) 359-4140.
  • Northwestern Hospital that is located at 251 East Huron Street in Chicago, IL. In room 2-716 of the Feinberg Pavilion. This group meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at 6:30pm. Parking is reduced with validation, and public transportation is available. If you have any questions about this group – please contact Marty Heller at (847) 831-0287.
  • Palatine Library that is located at 700 North Ct, Palatine, IL 60067. This group meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7:00pm. If you have any questions about this group – please contact Judy Sturm at (847) 359-4140. (Source: Healthy Chicago.com)

What are depression support groups?

Depression support groups are support groups where people who are suffering from depression can meet each other, connect and share their experiences. 

These groups give the members a safe space to share their stories, find support, and find comfort in the company of other people. 

 The members could learn about new coping methods by teaching each other about how to use them and where they used it the most and it was most effective. 

Most people with depression often isolate themselves and disconnect from society and even their loved ones. A support group is a great way for them to make connections and talk to people who understand each other in a way that no one else could. 

Being in a support group makes people realise that the best advice and encouragement comes from a person who shares the same symptoms and conditions. 

What is a support group?

A support group is where a group of people, who share the same problems or issues, gather and interact with each other. They talk about their feelings and their struggles, knowing that they are in a safe space and are surrounded by people who understand and relate to them. 

The members of the support groups provide each other with comfort and advice from their own experiences and help each other overcome their issues. The people can also share the progress that they have made and the changes they have seen over time.  

When people are part of a support group, they not only share their struggles, but also their victories, no matter big or small. 

A support group is a safe place where people can speak comfortably about whatever they feel like talking about. Support groups usually have clear rules about who can attend and who cannot attend; this is mostly pertaining to the particular kind of condition that the support group handles. 

If the group is run by a facilitator, then there will be clear guidelines and the facilitator will help everyone stay on track with the treatment. The facilitator will also help the newcomers adjust to the support group. 

If the support group is peer led then they will occasionally bring in guest speakers such as doctors, therapist specialists and so on who will help widen the knowledge of the participants on a particular topic. 

A support group is not helpful if the facilitator is not involved and is lacking in their skills and training. The most important thing about a support group is the confidentiality of people’s experiences.

What are the different kinds of support groups?

Depending on the needs of the individual, different support groups have been made in order to help people achieve those needs. 

The types of support groups are:

Mutual support groups

These groups are peer-led groups where the participants are dealing with a certain condition or situation and they share what coping mechanisms or strategies are working for them and motivate each other to do the same. 

12-step self-help groups 

These groups are usually meant for people dealing with an addiction such as alcohol. The support groups design a strategy of 12 steps that they will follow and motivate each other to do so.

Therapy groups 

These groups are led by mental health providers where they treat several people who share the same symptoms at the same time.

Online support groups 

These groups come in handy when a person is unable to attend a physical support group. They work similarly to other support groups, except here they cannot meet in person. It can be as effective as other offline support groups.

What are the benefits of a support group?

There are many benefits that come with joining a support group.

  • Finding a safe place where the person will be able to share their experiences openly and freely without any fear of criticism.
  • Re-instill hope in the people or fosters hope for all the participating members of the support group.
  • Learn about effective coping strategies that they may not have known of earlier. These coping strategies could immensely help them
  • People with depression often isolate themselves and joining a support group can help them overcome that isolation and show them once again how important it is to connect with people and share their feelings
  • Support groups helps a person build a social network of support
  • They learn that there are a lot of services out there that will help them overcome their condition efficiently
  • Support groups allow the members to help each other encourage each other and also learn from each other and everyone experiences
  • As the person learns ways to cope with symptoms of depression it also helps them understand themselves on a deeper level it helps them understand what are they needs and how they should be able to reach them are satisfied them
  • By listening to the experiences of the other participants the person will be able to better manage their choices and decisions in order to avoid the same pitfalls that their fellow participants had fallen into. 
  • By interacting with the others, the person also learns about different ways by which they could care for themselves, manage their stress, how to improve their sleeping and eating habits and how to strengthen their physical and mental health

Conclusion

In this blog we provided you resources for Free depression support groups based in Chicago. 

We also briefly discussed what depression groups are, what support groups are, what they do, what are the benefits of being part of a support group, and the efficacy of support groups.

FAQ related to Free depression support groups in Chicago

Is Nami Chicago free?

Yes, NAMI chicago mental health support and group support are free. 

Does NAMI have zoom meetings?

Yes, NAMI uses zoom meetings for their group support services. After registering, it is likely that the participants will receive a confirmation email along with the Zoom link so that they can join in the call. 

What happens in mental health support groups?

Support groups usually have clear rules about who can attend and who cannot attend; this is mostly pertaining to the particular kind of condition that the support group handles. 

If the group is run by a facilitator, then there will be clear guidelines and the facilitator will help everyone stay on track with the treatment. 

References

Support Groups – Greater Chicago. Healthy Chicago. Retrieved on 28th April 2022. https://cdph.purplebinder.com/locations/depression-and-bipolar-support-alliance-dbsa/support-groups-greater-chicago-brookfield

Worrall, Hugh; Schweizer, Richard; Marks, Ellen; Yuan, Lin; Lloyd, Chris; and Ramjan, Rob, “The effectiveness of support groups: a literature review” (2018). Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health – Papers: part A. 5441.

https://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/5441

Tony Hoi. ‘Support Groups: Types, Benefits, and What to Expect’. Help Guide. Retrieved on 28th April 2022. 

Sean Galla. ‘DEPRESSION SUPPORT GROUPS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW’. Men’s Group. Retrieved on 28th April 2022. https://mensgroup.com/depression-support-groups

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