You never have to deal with mental health challenges, substance abuse recovery, or healing from grief alone. Support groups offer a safe and encouraging place to connect with others who are going through or have gone through similar experiences in life.
Benefits of Support Groups
Support groups are a place where you can share your emotions and circumstances with others who understand how you feel and will not judge or criticize you. The benefits of participating in a support group may include:
- Feeling less lonely, isolated, or judged
- Reducing distress, depression, anxiety, or fatigue
- Talking openly and honestly about your feelings
- Improving skills to cope with challenges
- Staying motivated to manage chronic conditions or stick to treatment plans
- Gaining a sense of empowerment, control, or hope
- Improving understanding of a disease and your own experience with it
- Getting practical feedback about treatment options
- Learning about health, economic or social resources
Participation in structured support groups, such as those led by NAMI, “Allows your voice to be heard and provides an opportunity for your personal needs to be met. It encourages empathy, productive discussion, and a sense of community. You’ll benefit from others’ experiences, discover your inner strength and empower yourself by sharing your own experiences in a non-judgmental space.”
Community is one of the four major dimensions of recovery, per SAMSHA. Community involves having relationships and social networks that provide support (such as support groups), friendship, love, and hope.
Support Groups Located in the Coastal Virginia Area
Support groups typically meet both online and in person, and many are free, and/or low-cost.
Mental Health Support Groups:
NAMI Connections Recovery Support and Family Support Online Meetings:
- Coastal Virginia: Join here or call (757) 499-2041
- Hampton/Newport News: Call (757) 690-1370
NAMI Connections Recovery Support and Family Support In-Person Meetings:
- Coastal Virginia: Schedule here or call (757) 499-2041
- Hampton/Newport News: Call (757) 690-1370
- Williamsburg: Schedule here or call (757) 220-8535
Working with peers can help you overcome the impact of mental illnesses or substance use disorders. Peers are individuals who identify as someone who has a lived experience with a mental health issue (emotional or mental distress), substance use or addiction recovery, or both (co-occurring).
Substance Recovery Support Groups:
Williamsburg: Recovery Support Group in-person at Thrive Therapy, sign up here or call (757) 707-8146
Virginia Beach: Support Group in-person at Recovery for Life, schedule here or call (757) 774-7664
Eastern Shore: CSB Outpatient Support Group in-person, schedule here or call (757) 442-3636
Virginia Beach: Substance Use Recovery Process Group in-person at Waves Psychotherapy Services, call (757) 685-4453
Grief Support Group
Chesapeake Grief Group Therapy in-person at the Balanced Total Wellness Center, schedule here or call (757) 231-9512
Norfolk Grief Group Therapy online at RDH Counseling and Consulting, LLC., schedule here or call (757) 517-0703
Coastal Virginia/Hampton Roads Area Bereavement Support Groups (in-person – visit LifeNetHealth.org for the list of groups, meeting schedules, and contact information)
We encourage you to reach out to your local Community Service Board for direction if you have not found a support group that fits your needs.
In Region Five, our member CSBs include Chesapeake, Colonial Eastern Shore, Hampton Newark, Middle Peninsula Northern Neck, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, and Western Tidewater.
If you reside in other areas of Virginia, the Department of Behavior Health & Developmental Services also provides links to each Community Service Board within the state.
Occasionally, due to high demand for services, group meetings and team membership reach capacity. Contact your primary care physician or your insurance care manager for help with locating a support group in your area. You may also search for your local NAMI location, or call (800) 950-6264.
Help Is Within Your Reach
If you need help today, or any day, 24/7, call our crisis line at 757-656-7755. If you have a 757 area code, you can also reach someone by dialing or texting 988.
If you reside in the state of Virginia, outside of the Region Five area, visit the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services location board to find a CSB in your area.