If you or someone you know, is facing a difficult or stressful life problem (any illness, disability, addiction, loss of a loved one, parenting situation, caregiver concern, abuse experience, etc.), there are many different local, no-fee community support groups that can be especially helpful. In these support groups, you can finally talk with, and learn from, those who are or have "been there" and who therefore truly understand what you're going through. When you hear how others cope with that same situation, it can turn what you previously viewed as a pretty hopeless situation into one where you suddenly discover different options and resources that you didn't even think were available to you.
To see what types of community support groups actually meet in Warren County (in case any may be helpful to you, a friend, relative, co-worker, or a client), just go to: http://www.medhelp.org/njgroups/Warren_County...
Through its toll-free helpline, the staff and volunteers at the non-profit NJ Self-Help Group Clearinghouse can provide you with descriptions, meeting locations & phone contacts for these and over 6,750 local community support groups throughout NJ, and about 1,100 national, online, & model peer support networks. In addition to helping people find support groups to meet their needs, the Clearinghouse also helps those interested in joining with others to start a needed new peer support group.
New support groups can be started - but only if others are willing to help those who already have expressed their initial interest in getting them off the ground. The Clearinghouse has already heard from over a hundred people who are currently seeking others "in the the same boat" to help them in starting new groups. For a listing, go to their website:www.NJgroups.org and click on the 5th menu item down, "INDIVIDUALS SEEKING OTHERS TO HELP START SPECIFIC NEW GROUPS." To learn what's involved in starting any support group, just call the Clearinghouse for free help.
So, if you're simply interested in learning about an existing local support group, or might be interested in helping a needed new group to start, phone the Clearinghouse at 1-800-367-6274 or 1-800-FOR- M.A.S.H.(Mutual Aid Self-Help). You can call any time and leave a message, and the Clearinghouse staff will call back the next business day with the information. These support groups don't charge a fee, but if you decide to continue to attend, they may ask for minimal dues or "just pass the hat" at their meetings to pay for their low operational expenses.
If you think that any of the above listings of sample county groups may be helpful to others, please feel free to pass the URL on, post a link to it, or print and post it on any local community bulletin board. The Clearinghouse updates the listing, every 10 or so months (sooner if they hear of multiple new groups).
Coming together as volunteers to help one another "in the same boat" is an old and valued American tradition. So consider sharing your experienes, strengths and hopes. As former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD, who also served as a member of a local self-help group himself, expressed it:
"My years as a medical practitioner, as well as my own first-hand experience, have taught me how important self-help groups are in assisting their members in dealing with problems, stress, hardship and pain... the benefits of mutual aid are experienced by millions of people who turn to others with a similar problem to attempt to deal with their isolation, powerlessness, alienation, and the awful feeling that nobody understands."