About support groups
Support groups can be helpful in dealing with many health issues. They are consumer oriented and provide peer support. No one understands better what you’re going through more than those whose lives have also been affected.
Benefits of participating in a support group include:
- Emotional healing through validation—you are not alone!
- A safe environment to discuss brain injury issues
- Education from the exchange of information & experiences
- Connection to resources participants have found helpful
- Encouragement that those affected by brain injury can have an excellent quality of life
How to find a support group
If you are a veteran seeking a support group, you can locate a support group that better accommodates your needs through one of the resources listed here. If you are a caregiver to a veteran, contact the VA Caregiver Support Program or call the National Caregiver Support Line at 1-885-260-3274.
Caregivers can also find a support group through the Family Caregiver Alliance ~ the National Center on Caregiving.
Contact your primary care physician (PCP) or, if you were treated at a rehab center, contact the case manager or social worker and ask for a referral to an appropriate support group for your needs.
If your doctor(s) or a case manager or social worker can’t help you locate a support group, contact your regional or state brain injury advocacy organization. To locate your regional or state brain injury advocacy group, contact your national or international brain injury advocacy organization by searching the BIC Blue Book or doing an online search (Bing, Google, Yahoo, etc). Call or E-mail them by using the contact information provided on the applicable site.
Prior to attending your first support group
Since support group meeting dates and times are subject to change, contact the facilitator to:
- Confirm the date and time;
- Confirm the location; and
- Determine whether that group is the best for you.
NOTE: It doesn't matter where you find your resources, it matters that you find them as soon as possible. If you come across a good support group or resource and you'd like to share it with the brain injury community, please add that resource to the BIC Blue Book here.
If you are having trouble finding a local support group, consider participating in an online support group/network/discussion group or search the BIC Blue Book or contact the national or international brain injury advocacy organization of your type of injury to find your regional brain injury advocacy group.
If an online support isn't working for you and there isn't a support group that meets your needs in your community, consider initiating one. A resource available to assist one in initiating a support group is published by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) titled, "Helping Ourselves: A Guide for Brain Injury Support Groups."
If you have additional needs, return to "I have been diagnosed with a brain injury," or "I am helping someone whose life has been affected by brain injury" OR select the "go back one page" feature.