Support groups for people with ulcerative colitis (UC), which is a chronic inflammatory disease of the colon and a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), can help them cope with their condition. These groups provide the opportunity to share experiences, advice, information, and support.

Living with a chronic health condition, such as UC, can affect a person’s mental health, and it can be difficult to deal with the challenges alone. One study showed that people with UC were more likely to have anxiety or depression, making them particularly vulnerable.

An older 2012 study involving adults with IBD found that the participants were very satisfied with the support group. They felt it provided something they could not get from healthcare professionals, family, or friends.

People can join either in-person or online support groups. While some individuals prefer the interaction of in-person settings, this may not be accessible to everyone. However, there are plenty of online resources available for people who wish to participate virtually.

Read more to learn about UC support groups in different parts of the world and groups that meet online.

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There are numerous support groups in the U.S. for people living with UC. The groups are in different areas and are suitable for people of different ages. Moreover, some groups meet in person, and some meet virtually.

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (CCF) is a nonprofit group that has been funding IBD research since 1967. It also organizes programs and events that raise awareness about UC and Crohn’s disease, which is another form of IBD.

The CCF hosts both in-person and online support groups. People who are interested can look into joining one of over 200 in-person CCF groups across the U.S.

Additionally, those who prefer online support groups can join the extensive CCF online community. The CCF has an online forum, expert Q&A sessions, personal stories, and more.

Learn more about the CCF here.

Girls with Guts

Girls with Guts is a support network that helps females with Crohn’s disease and UC.

The community started when five young bloggers with IBD decided to host a weekend meetup to find other females living with similar chronic conditions. Now, Girls with Guts hosts retreats all over the U.S. for females with IBD.

The network’s website has resources covering topics such as self-care and adjusting to college life with IBD. It also has a private Facebook group for people with IBD.

Learn more about Girls with Guts here.

Canada has a large network of UC and Crohn’s disease support groups, and many of them offer a variety of helpful resources.

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada (CCC) is a volunteer-based charity that raises money for IBD research. It also builds awareness about UC and Crohn’s disease, runs support groups across Canada, and provides free resources on its website.

Additionally, it offers:

  • the My Gut app
  • an IBD service finder
  • free webinars
  • academic scholarships for students with IBD
  • camping trips for young people

Learn more about CCC here and find a local support group.

The GI Society

The GI Society aims to improve the lives of people with gastrointestinal (GI) conditions.

Each year, it holds talks across Canada called BadGut Lectures. These free forums include talks from experts, stories from people with GI conditions, and Q&A segments.

The GI Society also sends out quarterly subscription-based newsletters and free pamphlets.

Learn more about the GI Society here.

There are several U.K.-based groups helping people with UC.

Crohn’s & Colitis UK

Crohn’s & Colitis UK (CCUK) is the largest IBD charity in the U.K. It supports people with UC and Crohn’s disease.

The charity organizes free social gatherings, and it has a community of 50 support groups across the U.K.

However, if joining an in-person support group is not suitable for someone, there is a dedicated helpline individuals can use if they need someone to talk to. There are also several virtual social events that run throughout the year.

Learn more about CCUK here.

CICRA

CICRA is a charity focusing on improving the lives of children with UC and Crohn’s disease. It provides families with helpful resources through an email newsletter.

Membership is free, and families can attend talks and events that teach them about coping with IBD as a young person.

Learn more about CICRA here.

Australia has several support groups for people living with UC. Some groups are in-person, while others are accessible online.

Crohn’s & Colitis Australia

Crohn’s & Colitis Australia (CCA) is a charity that has been supporting people with UC and Crohn’s disease for over 30 years. It provides information that helps individuals understand their condition and manage their care.

Monthly CCA support groups take place throughout Australia. In these groups, people share their experiences of living with UC or Crohn’s disease.

Other services that CCA offers include:

  • online support
  • telephone support
  • information forums
  • youth camps
  • UC and Crohn’s hub
  • a quarterly magazine

Learn more about CCA here.

IBD Support Australia

IBD Support Australia has been providing an online service for people with IBD since 2003. The volunteers running the charity either live with or have a loved one with UC or Crohn’s disease.

In addition to an online forum, the charity website has community resources and information for people with IBD.

Learn more about IBD Support Australia here.

There are numerous online communities for people with UC. While some of them are dedicated websites and organized groups, many support networks exist on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Reddit

Social media platform Reddit is a collection of forums, called subreddits, that focus on particular topics. Some people with chronic conditions use Reddit forums to discuss common issues and provide advice.

People with UC can find support by joining r/UlcerativeColitis.

This subreddit has around 15,000 members from around the world. Members discuss their personal experiences, mental health, and UC memes. Some even post livestreams of lectures.

Facebook

There are Facebook groups specific to location, gender, age, and more.

Some Facebook groups for people with UC include:

Twitter

On social media platform Twitter, people share common experiences and discuss certain topics by using hashtags. Even if people do not want to start Twitter threads by sending out a Tweet themselves, they can “follow” a hashtag in order to see relevant posts in their feed.

Some Twitter hashtags about UC include:

  • #ulcerativecolitis
  • #ibd
  • #ibdchat
  • #ibdawareness
  • #ibdmoms
  • #ibdvisible
  • #ibdsocialcircle

Support groups are a great way to meet other people with UC, share experiences, and support each other during difficult times.

However, some people may find that support groups have the opposite effect. They may make a person feel worse about their condition, especially if the person experiences an unwanted confrontation.

It is important that nobody feels pressured to join a support group. Also, if they find that a support group is no longer meeting their needs, they should not feel obligated to stay.

There are many support groups around the world for people with UC. Most provide a combination of resources, such as in-person meetups and online forums.

Before contacting a specific support group, a person may want to use social media to get an idea of what other people with UC are experiencing.

Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter have large digital communities of people living with UC who talk about their experiences, share tips, and offer support to others with the condition.