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Anxiety support groups can help people form skills to reduce the effects of anxiety on their lives. Many groups offer in-person and online meetings as well as activities such as journaling and blogging.
7 of the best anxiety support groups
- Best for multiple health conditions: Support Groups Central
- Best for mindfulness: Working Through Fear
- Best for social connections: AnxietyTribe
- Best for online support: 7 Cups
- Best for a 12-step program: Emotions Anonymous
- Best for family support: National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Best for those in dual recovery: Dual Recovery Anonymous
This article discusses some anxiety support groups a person may join, outlines their advantages and disadvantages, and answers some frequently asked questions.
Medical News Today does not rank services in any order and does not recommend one service over another. A person should opt for the service that best fits their needs.
MNT chooses support groups that meet the following criteria, where possible:
- Techniques: Support groups offer different techniques that may help people with anxiety, such as exercise, meditation, and therapy.
- Support: Support groups provide in-person and online meetings and sessions.
- Location: Support groups are available in most locations in the United States.
- Price: Support groups offer both free and paid services.
A person may wish to consider joining one of the anxiety support groups we outline in the following sections.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these support groups. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best for multiple health conditions: Support Groups Central
Support Groups Central (SGC) is an online support group available in over 120 countries. This organization offers support groups for a variety of health issues and conditions, including stress and anxiety.
When an individual signs up, they can choose the topic or group they would like to join. Then, they need to register for the meetings they are interested in and join via video call.
A person has the option to remain anonymous and turn their video and microphone off during the calls. They can also choose the name that they display.
SGC states that everyone who leads sessions has completed a training program with the company, and many are also licensed in their respective state.
Pros and cons
SGC has a variety of sessions to choose from, offering support for various physical and mental health conditions.
However, it is only available online, and a person will need a reliable internet connection to use its services.
Price: Signing up on the SGC website is free. Also, most meetings are free, although some may charge a small fee to join.
Best for mindfulness: Working Through Fear
Working Through Fear (WTF) is a 6-week course in Palos Hills, IL. This group aims to use mindfulness and interactions with nature and animals to ease anxiety.
People who join this course can take part in hiking, artwork, chair yoga, and interacting with animals. WTF encourages participants to use these meetings to share coping mechanisms, strategies, and concerns.
However, the organization states that this course is not a replacement for therapy.
Pros and cons
WTF incorporates physical activity and mindfulness techniques to address anxiety. There is
However, WTF is only available in Illinois, and some people may not be able to easily travel to this state.
Price: Each 6-week WTF course costs $120.
Best for social connections: AnxietyTribe
AnxietyTribe is an online support group that offers links to online and in-person therapists.
People can access activity streams, group chats, and wellness tools. The wellness tools include journaling, mood mapping, a wellness tree goal tracker, and sending positive affirmations to friends.
Pros and cons
AnxietyTribe is an online service, and people can use it wherever they wish as long as they have a stable internet connection. Additionally, individuals can source online and in-person therapists through the website.
However, AnxietyTribe does not offer any in-person meetings.
Price: AnxietyTribe is free.
Best for online support: 7 Cups
7 Cups provides people with anonymous, always-online support via its virtual chat rooms and scheduled online group support sessions. Volunteers run the chat rooms, and people under 18 years old can find teenage-specific rooms to discuss worries and strategies with their peers.
Pros and cons
7 Cups provides online group support sessions where people can seek advice from peers anonymously. Additionally, teenagers can seek support in an age-appropriate chat room with their peers.
However, 7 Cups is only available online and does not provide any in-person support. Also, volunteers lead the free chat rooms and are not qualified to provide diagnoses or treatment.
Price: Joining 7 Cups and using the chat rooms and group sessions is free.
Best for a 12-step program: Emotions Anonymous
Emotions Anonymous (EA) uses a 12-step program similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous that aims to help support a person’s mental health. EA states that leaders of meetings are not professional therapists and have no training in mental health.
The organization provides members with workbooks to journal in and offers in-person and online meetings. Also, individuals can choose to remain anonymous if they wish to.
Pros and cons
EA holds in-person and online meetings that are free to attend. It also offers a more rigid structure toward mental health, which some may find helpful.
However, the organization states that it is a spiritual program and that it places an emphasis on a higher power. Some people may not resonate with this and may prefer a different support group.
Price: Both in-person and online meetings are free. However, donations are welcome.
Best for family support: National Alliance on Mental Illness
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers several methods of support for people who have mental health conditions and their families, such as:
- NAMI Connection support groups
- NAMI Family Support Groups, for friends and family members
- free online chat with trained specialists
- free text support with trained crisis counselors
- free crisis helpline available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. between Monday and Friday
Pros and cons
NAMI provides in-person and online support for people who have mental health conditions and their friends and family. It also offers helpful links on its website, educating individuals on what to do if a loved one is in crisis.
However, NAMI cannot offer mental health counseling, advice, or personal advocacy, and it cannot refer people to healthcare professionals specializing in mental health conditions.
Price: NAMI support groups and helplines are free.
Best for those in dual recovery: Dual Recovery Anonymous
Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) is a self-help organization that helps people who have a mental health condition and a substance use disorder (SUD).
Similarly to EA, it uses a 12-step program, but its meetings only take place in person.
Pros and cons
DRA uses a 12-step structure for recovery from SUD and supporting mental health, which some people may prefer. It also offers in-person meetings.
However, like EA, DRA is spiritual and places an emphasis on a higher power. Also, the organization does not offer any online meetings.
Price: DRA meetings are free to attend, although donations are welcome.
The following table compares the anxiety support groups discussed in this article.
|SGC||peer support||online||free, with optional fees|
|AnxietyTribe||peer support and journaling||online||free|
|7 Cups||peer support||online||free, with optional fees|
|EA||a 12-step program||in person and online||free|
|NAMI||professional and peer support||in person, with online helplines||free|
|DRA||a 12-step program||in person||free|
A person may wish to consider the following factors when selecting an anxiety support group:
- Location: Many support groups offer both in-person and online meetings. However, an individual may wish to consider whether in-person meetings and activities are in a location to which they can travel.
- Techniques: Some support groups may offer peer support, professional therapy, or a more rigid structure, such as a 12-step program. People should consider which technique they find most helpful.
- Spirituality: Certain support groups, such as EA and DRA, place an emphasis on spirituality. This may not resonate with some individuals, and they may prefer a different support group.
- Price: Many support groups are free to use, or offer free features. However, others require a fee. A person should consider their budget when choosing a support group.
An individual should consult a healthcare professional if they believe they are experiencing any symptoms of anxiety, such as:
- difficulty concentrating
- feeling tense
- feeling more worried than usual
- sleep difficulties, such as sleeping too much or too little
A healthcare professional can determine whether a person’s experience of anxiety reaches the level of an anxiety disorder, and offer advice and treatment options.
Below, we answer some commonly asked questions about anxiety support groups.
What organizations help with anxiety?
There are a number of organizations worldwide that offer support for people with anxiety.
A person can search for a support group in their area online. A healthcare professional may also recommend local support groups and organizations.
What are three strategies for managing anxiety?
There are various strategies a person may try to manage anxiety symptoms.
Who is best to talk to about anxiety?
People should contact a healthcare professional if they are experiencing symptoms of anxiety. Healthcare professionals can determine the presence of an anxiety disorder that may require treatment, such as medication and therapy.
A person may also wish to join a support group alongside medical treatment and professional therapy. Support groups can offer peer support and provide a safe space for people to share tips and techniques for managing anxiety.
Anxiety support groups, while not a replacement for therapy, can provide peer support where people can share techniques to manage anxiety. A person can choose from groups that offer in-person or online meetings, and groups that offer free or paid features.
If an individual is experiencing anxiety symptoms, they should seek guidance from a healthcare professional, who can offer further advice and discuss treatment plans.