You don't have to do it all alone!
                                     Starting a support group

Consider doing the job from the very beginning as a team.  Others who are travelling the same path who share your passion for this new group can make the task so much easier.  Here are 4 compelling reasons:

1.  It's more fun.  Working with others makes for a social experience.

2.  It's less work.  Many hands make light work.

3.  It's not yours.  When one starts a group alone, it often results in that person having sole ownership and complete responsibility for the life of the group.  Ugh!

4.  It's instant support.  As soon as the team gets together for the first time, you have a support group!

                                                  Helpful resources

The web is replete with articles on how to start new groups.  Here are our two favorites because they were written by those with lots of experience.  And the first one even has original cartoons. 

Power Tools:  Ways to build a self-help group.  Published by SupportWorks in 1992 as the conference brochure for the International Self-Help Conference in Ottawa, it's still just as timely as the day when the ink was wet.  Go to to read it and, if you wish, print off a single copy.  If you would like multiple copies or printed booklets, please feel free to contact us.

Starting a New Self-Help Group.  Written by Ed Madara with 33 years of experience working with support groups, you'll find a link to two organizations run by Ed.  At the American Self Help Clearinghouse site you'll find the most comprehensive listing of national support groups along with some group formation literature.  At the New Jersey Self Help Group Clearinghouse site, you'll locate expert literature on forming and running a support group as well as a list of workshops.  Find the links for all types of support groups at (not just mental health).

Comfort and Support Are Just a Dial Tone Away.  If new members of the group live too far apart, are too ill, or just are unlikely to go to a face-to-face group, you might consider a free telephone group.  This supplement to Power Tools (noted above) describes all the basics of free telephone groups.  SupportWorks has helped form telephone groups since 2000.  At one point we were sponsoring 17 groups a week; this brochure is based on that experience.  Go to

And of course, feel free to contact us if you would like assistance or have questions about starting a new group.  Don't be shy -- as Nike says, "Just do it!"

                                    You can't steal second base and keep one foot on first. -- Unknown

Charlotte's support group clearinghouse