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Home » 7 best anxiety support groups for 2022 – Medical News Today

7 best anxiety support groups for 2022 – Medical News Today

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Anxiety support groups can help people form skills to reduce the effects of anxiety on their lives. Many groups offer in-person and online meetings as well as activities such as journaling and blogging.
This article discusses some anxiety support groups a person may join, outlines their advantages and disadvantages, and answers some frequently asked questions.
Medical News Today does not rank services in any order and does not recommend one service over another. A person should opt for the service that best fits their needs.
MNT chooses support groups that meet the following criteria, where possible:
A person may wish to consider joining one of the anxiety support groups we outline in the following sections.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these support groups. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Support Groups Central (SGC) is an online support group available in over 120 countries. This organization offers support groups for a variety of health issues and conditions, including stress and anxiety.
When an individual signs up, they can choose the topic or group they would like to join. Then, they need to register for the meetings they are interested in and join via video call.
A person has the option to remain anonymous and turn their video and microphone off during the calls. They can also choose the name that they display.
SGC states that everyone who leads sessions has completed a training program with the company, and many are also licensed in their respective state.
SGC has a variety of sessions to choose from, offering support for various physical and mental health conditions.
However, it is only available online, and a person will need a reliable internet connection to use its services.
Price: Signing up on the SGC website is free. Also, most meetings are free, although some may charge a small fee to join.
Working Through Fear (WTF) is a 6-week course in Palos Hills, IL. This group aims to use mindfulness and interactions with nature and animals to ease anxiety.
People who join this course can take part in hiking, artwork, chair yoga, and interacting with animals. WTF encourages participants to use these meetings to share coping mechanisms, strategies, and concerns.
However, the organization states that this course is not a replacement for therapy.
WTF incorporates physical activity and mindfulness techniques to address anxiety. There is evidence that physical activity can lessen anxiety symptoms. Research also suggests that mindfulness that reduces focus on worries can help alleviate anxiety and depression.
However, WTF is only available in Illinois, and some people may not be able to easily travel to this state.
Price: Each 6-week WTF course costs $120.
AnxietyTribe is an online support group that offers links to online and in-person therapists.
People can access activity streams, group chats, and wellness tools. The wellness tools include journaling, mood mapping, a wellness tree goal tracker, and sending positive affirmations to friends.
Learn more about mood tracker apps here.
AnxietyTribe is an online service, and people can use it wherever they wish as long as they have a stable internet connection. Additionally, individuals can source online and in-person therapists through the website.
However, AnxietyTribe does not offer any in-person meetings.
Price: AnxietyTribe is free.
7 Cups provides people with anonymous, always-online support via its virtual chat rooms and scheduled online group support sessions. Volunteers run the chat rooms, and people under 18 years old can find teenage-specific rooms to discuss worries and strategies with their peers.
A person can access 7 Cups through its website or by downloading its app on the App Store and Google Play.
7 Cups provides online group support sessions where people can seek advice from peers anonymously. Additionally, teenagers can seek support in an age-appropriate chat room with their peers.
However, 7 Cups is only available online and does not provide any in-person support. Also, volunteers lead the free chat rooms and are not qualified to provide diagnoses or treatment.
Price: Joining 7 Cups and using the chat rooms and group sessions is free.
Emotions Anonymous (EA) uses a 12-step program similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous that aims to help support a person’s mental health. EA states that leaders of meetings are not professional therapists and have no training in mental health.
The organization provides members with workbooks to journal in and offers in-person and online meetings. Also, individuals can choose to remain anonymous if they wish to.
EA holds in-person and online meetings that are free to attend. It also offers a more rigid structure toward mental health, which some may find helpful.
However, the organization states that it is a spiritual program and that it places an emphasis on a higher power. Some people may not resonate with this and may prefer a different support group.
Price: Both in-person and online meetings are free. However, donations are welcome.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers several methods of support for people who have mental health conditions and their families, such as:
NAMI provides in-person and online support for people who have mental health conditions and their friends and family. It also offers helpful links on its website, educating individuals on what to do if a loved one is in crisis.
However, NAMI cannot offer mental health counseling, advice, or personal advocacy, and it cannot refer people to healthcare professionals specializing in mental health conditions.
Price: NAMI support groups and helplines are free.
Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) is a self-help organization that helps people who have a mental health condition and a substance use disorder (SUD).
Similarly to EA, it uses a 12-step program, but its meetings only take place in person.
DRA uses a 12-step structure for recovery from SUD and supporting mental health, which some people may prefer. It also offers in-person meetings.
However, like EA, DRA is spiritual and places an emphasis on a higher power. Also, the organization does not offer any online meetings.
Price: DRA meetings are free to attend, although donations are welcome.
The following table compares the anxiety support groups discussed in this article.
A person may wish to consider the following factors when selecting an anxiety support group:
An individual should consult a healthcare professional if they believe they are experiencing any symptoms of anxiety, such as:
Learn more about the symptoms of anxiety here.
A healthcare professional can determine whether a person’s experience of anxiety reaches the level of an anxiety disorder, and offer advice and treatment options.
Learn more about treatment for anxiety here.
Below, we answer some commonly asked questions about anxiety support groups.
There are a number of organizations worldwide that offer support for people with anxiety.
A person can search for a support group in their area online. A healthcare professional may also recommend local support groups and organizations.
There are various strategies a person may try to manage anxiety symptoms.
The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom recommends people avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoking, practice mindfulness techniques, such as yoga and pilates, and exercise regularly.
Learn more about quitting smoking here.
People should contact a healthcare professional if they are experiencing symptoms of anxiety. Healthcare professionals can determine the presence of an anxiety disorder that may require treatment, such as medication and therapy.
A person may also wish to join a support group alongside medical treatment and professional therapy. Support groups can offer peer support and provide a safe space for people to share tips and techniques for managing anxiety.
Anxiety support groups, while not a replacement for therapy, can provide peer support where people can share techniques to manage anxiety. A person can choose from groups that offer in-person or online meetings, and groups that offer free or paid features.
If an individual is experiencing anxiety symptoms, they should seek guidance from a healthcare professional, who can offer further advice and discuss treatment plans.
Last medically reviewed on April 13, 2022
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