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Online Support Groups for Women Struggling with their Mental Health

By 
Kaitlyn Nuebel

Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping.

Times are tough, no doubt. Social distancing, staying home, hosting family gatherings over Zoom--these things are not normal. For many people, women included, things have taken a toll on their mental health.

But there’s no need to suffer alone. While things may feel different and difficult, it’s important to remember that you’re not the only person who feels the way you do. In fact, there are groups of people out there struggling with the same thing, you just might not be able to see them. 

Support groups are exactly what they sound like—groups of people who come together to support one another. Different support groups are created with a particular focus in mind, like helping alcoholics recover, creating a safe space for victims of domestic abuse, or giving people the opportunity to talk openly about their struggles with mental health. 

People go to support groups to release some of their struggles through open communication, but to also hear about how others use strategies to overcome similar experiences and difficulties. Ultimately, support groups reaffirm people that they are not alone in their struggles while also providing advice and assistance when needed.

For women struggling with their mental health, joining a support group can be a beneficial way to receive help and improve their daily lives, all while feeling like they are part of a community. 

Three people touch hands in the middle of a table
Support groups are usually focused around a specific topic. As a result, people in a support group can relate to one another through a common struggle, and seek advice from one another when needed. 

In this day and age, people have figured out ways to do just about everything virtually, support groups included. Some women who have attended in person support groups for their mental health may be looking for virtual options they can attend instead. Other women may wish to seek out support groups for new mental health struggles that have resulted from the pandemic. Studies show that women have been affected by the pandemic differently than men—they are more likely to have difficulty sleeping as well as increased levels of anxiety and depression. 

Regardless of your previous experiences with support groups, today’s virtual settings make them easier to attend than ever before—all you have to do is open your laptop. With that being said, here are some support groups for women looking for a community of women also seeking help to improve their mental health.  

Trauma and PTSD

Virtual Women’s Circle: Trauma

Topics addressed: Trauma and PTSD, women’s issues

Description: “An evening hour virtual women's trauma group: Whether you juggle a busy schedule, prioritize ease and accessibility, or prefer healing from the comfort of your home, virtual groups certainly have their advantages (especially in the time of COVID-19). If you're interested in journeying to personal empowerment, diving deeper within yourself, and finding connection with others... this women's circle is for you!”

Host: Jackie Vermaat, MS, LPC

When: Wednesdays 1-2 p.m. or Wednesdays 5-6 p.m.

Cost, if any: Unspecified

Contact: Email Jackie Vermaat or call (309) 724-4194

Virtual Women’s Healing from Trauma

Topics addressed: Anxiety, coping skills, trauma and PTSD

Description: “Virtual-Using Zoom!! Do you find that past experiences leave you reactive in certain circumstances? Would you like to develop new coping methods that offer you freedom? We offer skills to quiet the anxiety related to past traumatic experiences in an environment that is calm, nonjudgmental and compassionate. We teach and look at ways to help people feel safe again, cope with triggers and flashbacks, and the overall "on-edge" feeling. This is not a process group, so specific trauma's will not be processed. This is a "covering trauma" approach, and we can answer any questions you have.”

Host: Lorrie Johnson, LCSW

When: Mondays 5:45-7 p.m.

Cost, if any: $40/session

Contact: Email Lorrie Johnson or call (585) 209-5165

A virtual support group takes place on someone's laptop.
 The pandemic has increased levels of stress and anxiety, especially in women. Many people might be uncomfortable gathering in groups, but virtual support groups make a feasible alternative to in person support groups. Image courtesy of Agewell Ct.

Stress & Anxiety

Polite Psychotherapy - Virtual Women’s Therapy Group

Topics addressed: Anxiety, life transitions, stress

Description: “Applications are being accepted for a virtual women’s therapy group with a focus on coping with stress and anxiety, goal attainment, and personal growth. The group will be facilitated by Nouna Jalilzadeh, a New York based Mental Health Therapist with Polite Psychotherapy. Join us to be part of a group of women learning how to better manage day to day stress and anxiety, identify triggers, attain coping skills, reach personal goals and thrive. The group will meet every week for a duration of 6 weeks on weekday evenings. For additional information please email nouna@politepsych.com.”

Host: Nouna Jalilzadeh, MHC-LP

When: Weekday evenings (6 weeks)

Cost, if any: Unspecified

Contact: Email nouna@politepsych.com or call (929) 254-4441

Self-Compassion Group for Women (online)

Topics addressed: Anxiety, stress, women’s issues

Description: “Many of us criticize ourselves on a daily basis. We aren't smart enough, attractive enough, hard working enough, good enough partners/daughters/mothers, and the list goes on. This self-criticism can lead to lifelong feelings of inadequacy and failure. This belief that we are not worthy of love hurts our relationship with ourselves and our relationships with others. This group focuses on learning to be kinder toward ourselves through peer connection, common humanity, self-compassion, and mindfulness in a safe, supportive environment. Please reach out with questions or to sign up!”

Host: Carmen Kirchoff, Pre-Licensed Professional, MA

When: Wednesdays 4:30-6 p.m.

Cost, if any: $50/session

Contact: Email Carmen Kirchoff or call (612) 712-4641

Anxiety Support Group for Women, Virtual

Topics addressed: Anxiety, coping skills, self-esteem

Description: “A virtual support group for women struggling with anxiety. Isolation has reached a new high. For some of us, it's a comfort not to have to go out into the world and interact with others, but this can also mean a set-back in progress made prior to the pandemic. Join us for a virtual facilitated anxiety support group for women to strengthen your network, your skills and your resolve to overcome anxiety symptoms that have held you back from living the life you dream of. You are not alone. And we can do this together!”

Host: Noelle Nevins, Pre-Licensed Professional, MA CMHC, NCC, LPCA

When: Wednesdays 7:30-8:30

Cost, if any: $20-30/session

Contact: Email Noelle Nevins or call (475) 242-8095

Depression

Women Anxiety/Depression Counseling Group

Topics addressed: Anxiety, depression, self-esteem

Description: “This group will meet via Zoom or Simple Practice.”

Host: Suzette D Blount

When: Every other Sunday at 10-11:30 a.m.

Cost, if any: $20-40/session

Contact: Email Suzette D Blount or call (678) 929-5234

Women in a support group applaud a woman standing up.
In addition to helping women navigate struggles with mental health, support groups can also help raise self-esteem. Image courtesy of Sisters Taking on the Prevention of Suicide.

Impulse control disorders

Women’s Virtual Group

Topics addressed: Impulse control disorders, stress, coping skills

Description: “We will learn new coping skills that can be used throughout someone's life, especially during times like these. We will discuss: mindfulness, building tolerance, emotion regulation, and relationship skills. This is a 12 week DBT informed group, and is open to new members during the entire course of the group. The group will be meeting virtually. The topics will repeat after 12 weeks for those individuals who start late or are interested in reviewing the skills.”

Host: Kylie Ball, LPC Intern, MS

When: Wednesdays 6-8 p.m.

Cost, if any: $40/session

Contact: Email Kylie Ball or call (833) 700-4997

ADHD

Virtual Women’s Empowerment Group

Topics addressed: ADHD, life coaching, women’s issues

Description: “Like most women with ADHD, I believed I should be able to manage my career, run a household, take care of the kids, and so on. My expectations were unrealistic. On Wednesday evenings, 7-8 PM, The Women’s Empowerment Group by CHADD, will offer support, motivation, and inspiration from like-minded women sharing similar challenges. Each week, we will discuss a different topic, learn tools and strategies to help manage daily stress and overwhelm. Email me @www.jlinkoffcoaching@gmail.com *Upon registration, a confirmation with a code will come with instructions on how to join our Zoom group.”

Host: Jill Linkoff

When: Wednesdays 7-8 p.m.

Cost, if any: Unspecified

Contact: Email Jill Linkoff or call (443) 399-2254

There has never been a more important time for women to prioritize their mental health, and virtual support groups make doing so more easy and convenient than ever before. Mental health support groups for women are all around us, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

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