Online Support for People with Mental Health Conditions
While these unprecedented times are stressful for everyone, people with mental health conditions may face particular challenges. As much as possible, try to keep up your overall health, try to follow your treatment plan, and try to manage your stress. Engage in activities that help manage your stress, such as exercise, relaxation techniques and creative activities. It is even more important to stay connected with friends, family and your support network.
Contact your health care provider if you have an appointment scheduled or would like to make an appointment. Many are now offering telehealth appointments from home. Try to have an adequate supply of your medication.
Many organizations offer ways to connect and find support online or by phone for general mental health and for specific conditions. Below is a sampling of the some of the sources for people with mental health conditions and those who support them:
- General mental health support: For general mental health issues, the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Helpline can be reached at 800-950-NAMI, [email protected] or text NAMI to 741741. NAMI also hosts online discussion groups on a variety of specific conditions (such as schizophrenia, anxiety, dual diagnosis, and more). The discussion groups allow participants to find support, share knowledge, ask questions and meet people who've been there.
- Warm Lines: A warm line is a confidential, free phone service offering mental health support. Unlike a crisis line or hotline, they are not intended for emergency situations. Warm lines are typically staffed by volunteer or paid peers—people with personal experience with mental health disorders. A list of warm lines by state is available at www.warmline.org. The lines vary in hours and geographic regions they are available. NAMI also maintains a warmline directory (.pdf).
- Schizophrenia: The Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America offers conference call support groups through the Schizophrenia Alliance (SA), a self-help/peer support program for people who have schizophrenia or a related illness. There are conference calls, five days a week for diagnosed individuals and weekly conference calls for the family and friends supporting individuals with schizophrenia.
- Anxiety and Depression: The Anxiety and Depression Association of America hosts online discussion and support. This online community is a safe space for those affected by anxiety and depression to talk to others who understand.
- Postpartum depression: Postpartum Support International (PSI) offers online meetings focused on a variety of topics and groups. PSI is a non-profit organization that provides direct support to pregnant and postpartum women and families, training to professionals and volunteers, and a bridge to connect with each other.
- Learning disabilities: Understood.org offers Live Expert Chats allowing parents and caregivers to join a conversation on a topic of interest. Understood.org offers programs focused on empowering people who learn and think differently and those who support them, providing resources and a compassionate community.
- Addiction/Substance use disorders: In addition to meetings available across the country and around the world, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) also offers online AA meetings. AA is a widely available, free mutual-help fellowship that helps people recover from alcoholism and improve their lives.
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA) offers virtual meetings, both online and by phone through Virtual NA. Narcotics Anonymous is a global, community-based organization that offers support for recovery from the effects of addiction through working a 12-step program, including regular group meetings.
- Dementia/Alzheimer’s: The Alzheimer’s Association provides remote connection through ALZConnected®, a free online community for people affected by Alzheimer's or another dementia, including individuals living with Alzheimer’s, caregivers, family members and friends. Participants can ask questions, get advice and find support.
- If you need immediate help, connect with a trained counselor