A support network is a group of people with common concerns or experiences who provide each other with advice, comfort, and encouragement. They often consist of people who are new to a certain situation with people who have been dealing with a similar situation for an extended period of time. A support network usually is lead by a person with some training in facilitating group discussions. They may also have training in the particular area the group is geared towards, or may have dealt with a similar experience. Support networks are extremely beneficial because they help people realize that they are not alone, and what they are going through is perfectly normal. It also allows people to ask others for advice on how to handle certain situations.

Mom Groups

One of the most common types of support networks are mom groups. Mom groups consist of all types of moms, including single mothers, mothers with over 20 years of experience, and new or expecting mothers. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find advertisements for mother’s groups in local newspapers, although in some places you may need to actively seek out a group. You can also talk to other moms; odds are, at least one of them is a member of a support network. If you have a child with a disability, mental or physical, you can usually find mother’s groups geared towards raising children with disabilities, and the various obstacles that may arise.

Women Groups

join-support-networks2Women support groups are another type of popular support networks. There are many different types of women groups, including support groups for women in abusive relationships, breast cancer awareness groups, and divorce groups, to name a few. Women’s groups are extremely popular because some women find it difficult to talk to friends and family about certain issues, such as abuse or cancer. This can take a serious toll on a woman and affect her personal life significantly. Going to a women’s group allows you to hear from other women who are facing similar issues, and also allows you to connect with them and learn from their experiences. In turn, you can ask them for advice on how to handle your situation, and get advice on things that did work and things that didn’t work. Support groups can also help raise awareness and money for research, which is particularly useful if the support group is geared towards disease or illness.

Online Support

If you can’t find a specific group in your area, try getting support from online resources. For mother’s groups, for example, try a web-based community like BabyCenter. This allows you to hook up with other mothers who have babies born around the same time as yours. You can contact each other with any trials and tribulations you may be experiencing. You can also contact other mothers who have had kids for years, and may already know what to do in certain situations. Online support groups are great because they can be accessed 24/7, and you can talk to people from all over the world, making it a vast resource at your disposal.