5 Of The Best Anxiety Support Groups
Support Groups Central
Support Groups Central describes their service as “a place where people can come to help and encourage each other with a variety of life issues.”
Available internationally, Support Groups Central help people from more than 120 countries worldwide. Members join via video and audio, and they can maintain their anonymity by turning off the camera and joining with a username.
Meetings are led by trained instructors. Many of them are certified, licensed, or have advanced degrees in their respective areas. Each instructor must take and pass the Support Groups Central training program designed for the platform’s video-based meetings.
According to the site, 95 percent of participants would recommend Support Groups Central to others. Their users report a reduction in symptoms, use of emergency symptoms, and hospital stays.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) specializes in managing anxiety disorders and depression. ADAA uses evidence-based programs, including online anxiety support groups, to improve the quality of life for people seeking mental health services.
The site offers free peer-to-peer support groups where individuals can share information and experiences in online chat-based forums. There is also a Spanish-language portion.
Support isn’t led by trained professionals. Administrators oversee the community, and members must abide by the rules.
Users say the online community is a convenient and safe place to relate to others with similar feelings. Since users are all at different places in their mental health journeys, some report feelings of fulfillment when offering support to those who need it most.
While the online community is not a replacement for emergency medical services or professional mental health services, its purpose is to provide a safe space for people who experience anxiety and depression to talk with others who understand.
Mental Health America
Mental Health America is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to offering preventative, intervention, and treatment mental health services.
The Mental Health America online support group, hosted by Inspire, is a free resource for people with anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions to ask questions, share experiences, and receive support from a community that understands.
This group uses a peer-to-peer approach and is moderated by group leaders. To determine if you’re experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition, the organization offers free mental health screening tests, including a dedicated test for anxiety.
SMART Recovery offers help for those experiencing addiction and other harmful habits.
While not geared towards anxiety specifically, the tools and resources are beneficial for people who want to sustain successful long-term change or those who experience anxiety as well as addiction.
If you feel reliant on mental health resources for anxiety, SMART Recovery may help you progress. Whether you follow the programs or attend the meetings, you’re in charge of your pace.
According to the site, “SMART is not just any mutual-support program. Our science-based approach emphasizes self-empowerment and self-reliance.”
Meetings are held in-person and online, so members have the flexibility to choose based on their preferences and availability.
To attend a SMART Recovery meeting, view the calendar for online meetings and events. Registering is free and grants you access to more than 40 online meetings per week.
Members also gain access to free 24/7 online discussion forums.
DailyStrength is a place where people with a variety of conditions and experiences can find online support. The online anxiety support group is one of DailyStrength’s most popular, with more than 20,000 members.
Members can post anonymously. The site also recommends local mental health professionals for those who need more support.
While DailyStrength doesn’t replace emergency services, users can indicate when they are in a crisis situation, so peers can respond quickly.
A list of emergency medical services is available to all site visitors, including non-members, to help people know what to do in a crisis.