I started a lawyer depression support group ten years ago. It’s one of the most meaningful things I’ve ever done. We started out with ten people. It met once a month. Over time, it evolved into every other week. We now gather once a week. I’ve been asked many times about how to start a group. Here are a few pointers to help you get going. They’re in no particular order of importance.
- Be clear about what a support group is
A peer support group is a regular gathering of folks suffering from depression who share their struggles with fellow sufferers to gain insight, strength and hope. These meetings are less structured and more open-ended and the content doesn’t come from a mental health professional. In contrast, group therapy is more structured, focused on teaching, and has a clear outcome that the group is trying to reach. They’re led by a therapist. Since about 60% percent of those with depression also struggle with anxiety, it is likely that members will like to discuss both issues amongst themselves.