Tonight's chat topic: What are the "free" resources available today to help with #mentalhealth issues...pros/cons...what's available? #mhsm
That was how we started the chat last week and it turned into a discussion full of great resources. Naturally, the conversation led to discussing online support networks and groups. We discussed the pros and cons of "professionally" led and moderated groups versus those solely organized by "peers". The role of a peer versus professional can sometimes be fuzzy, but the overall consensus from the chat seemed to be that it was integral to have an experience in dealing with the mental health issues yourself on some level in order to be a successful group facilitator. Regardless, a facilitator or moderator is essential to the proper functioning of an online group. Many of our chat participants are moderators/facilitators themselves or have previously been, both online and off. It was a great discussion rich with ideas, opinions and resources.
Check out these links for resources on leading/facilitating support groups: http://www.addcoach4u.com/support/supportgroupsmanuals.html
Some links to online support group information:
Warmlines: phone numbers to call for confidential support
These are just a few places to look for these kinds of resources and all were provided during last week's #mhsm chat by participants. See the transcripts of the chat for even more and to find some great people to follow on Twitter.
So far, Chat No. 6 was the most fulfilling chat to date, for me. It went smoothly, I was able to follow with less time lag problems and the conversation was full of resources and great perspectives. I'm still looking to form a partnership with one or two other individuals to help facilitate this chat (hint, hint). Some very kind and supportive people on Twitter have been faithful attendees and have really helped us to get this chat running. I am so grateful for their help. (You know who you are!)