Your Personal Support Team
Your personal support team should consist of people who make you feel good, support you, and provide a positive influence. They are people you feel comfortable turning to in difficult times. List the people in your life who would make good support team members. Add to this list as you build more relationships.
- Your spouse or partner
- Family members
- Old friends
- New friends
- Members of your depression support group
- Community members
Your Community Support Team
For your community support team you should try to have at least 5 people who are willing to make a commitment to be available as a supporter. It may feel hard to make these efforts to meet people, but if you can get out there, your efforts are likely to pay off over time. Here are some ideas for how you can build your support team:
Attend depression support groups. One of the best places to find personal supporters is in support groups for people with depression. These are not therapy groups. They are places where people with depression come together for self-help and support. These groups provide the opportunity to be with people who are dealing with the same problems and issues. They provide a place where you don't have to hide your problem. Because group members understand depression, it's easy to talk with them. Group members can often offer tips for handling problems associated with depression.
Depression support groups are often listed in the calendar section of your local newspaper. You can also get referrals from your therapist or healthcare provider, from mental health agencies, or from others who are depressed. You can also call the resources listed on How Can I Get the Support I Need? for referrals to meetings in your area.
Seeking support and a sense of community with other people with depression can improve your general health and well-being. Talking with other people who have similar experiences, frustrations, and successes can be a great help. Check with your doctor before you act on any medical or health-related advice.
- Join and participate in an online depression message board.
- Join a depression support group in your area.
Volunteer. Another great way to find supportive friends is by volunteering. There are many organizations that need help. Volunteering provides opportunities for you to do something for the community while meeting others with similar interests. By volunteering regularly, you can develop new friendships and meet people who may be willing to become supporters.
Attend community groups. Every community has plenty of things going on with which you can become involved. Check your local newspaper to see what's going on in your area. Then attend community activities on a regular basis.
Take a class. Community education classes are great places to meet people, and most are relatively inexpensive. Maybe you're interested in ceramics, woodworking, cooking, hiking, or literature. Check with your local community college, recreation department, or local newspaper.