Benefits of a Support Group…

Copyright 2013 Dee Peters

  • It helps to realize that no one is alone in grief.
  • Verbalizing thoughts and emotions helps to connect people with their feelings (no matter how “crazy” those feelings seem).
  • Members have the opportunity to connect with others who have suffered similar losses. This reverses the tendency toward isolation and provides a sense of belonging and community.
  • Fellow survivors can be models of hope.
  • There is a sense of doing something positive about grief. Grief can’t be ignored.
  • A forum is provided for airing grief and seeking direction and support.
  • Grieving persons learn that all of us have resources within for helping ourselves and others.
  • It is a relief to learn that we are not going crazy, we are just grieving. These feelings, no matter what they are, are normal. It may be the only place where survivors feel understood. In group, true feelings of anger and/or guilt can be expressed without judgment.
  • The self-esteem of a grieving person can be very low. In support groups self esteem is enhanced by both providing and receiving help and support. Members share their experiences of coping and realize that they can be helpful to each other which enhances self esteem. They also see that others have been through suicide loss and survived.
  • Being able to speak to others about problems without encountering rejection reinforces feelings of self-worth. Support groups provide the opportunity to volunteer. Grieving persons feel worthwhile when they realize that even though they are grieving they can help. The process of learning to be of help to another person can develop self-esteem and self-confidence.