WiTalk Support Group Leader: Sharon Spiegel-Wagner – Honours Psychology Student & Performing Artist

What is a Support Group and Why Join?

Compliments from SADAG (The South African Depression and Anxiety Group)

Depression, anger, loneliness and other emotions that suppress immunity and imbalance the nervous system are rooted in the sense of self as an isolated, separate entity… You cannot enjoy full health as an isolated, separate being. Health is wholeness, and wholeness implies connectedness – to family, friends, tribe, nation, humanity, the earth and whatever higher power you conceive to be the creator of the universe. –  (Andrew Weil: Natural Health, Natural Medicine)

As human beings we want to connect with people. When we feel depressed and anxious, we feel alone and lonely, we feel that others cannot understand us and so we withdraw from people when we need them the most. Fear of stigma and being judged often make us fearful of telling even those we love that we are depressed or suffer from mental illness.  Joining a Support Group, or deciding to set one up, is a powerful commitment to reconnection with others.

Experiences that are shared and respected between people who have “been there” can be transformed where there is first-hand knowledge and understanding. Being in a Support Group is not the automatic answer to all of life’s problems. And it is not always easy to be in a group or to be involved in the running of one.

SADAG’s (South African Depression and Anxiety Support Group) Values Statement

Confidentiality: It is essential that confidentiality is respected at all times. This means that anything disclosed and shared in our support group should not be discussed with people outside of the group. Group organisers need to ensure that group members understand confidentiality and adhere to it.

Equal Opportunities: The Support Group should be open to all people who have experienced, or are experiencing, depression or the illness you have chosen for your group, regardless of race, colour, gender, creed, sexual orientation, disability, or age.

Respect: In order for a Support Group to function and be productive, its members must observe basic principles of respect. This means a non-judgemental attitude towards others and their beliefs. It also means that each member of the group must follow ground rules which each group should come up with for itself in the first meeting.

For more inquiries and to book your spot, contact PsychMatters Family Therapy Centre, 9 Park Street, Bedfordview, Johannesburg on 011-4503676 or info@psychmatters.co.za.

Fee: R30 for treats and guest speakers

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