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Information about Support Groups within the MidCentral District


MidCentral Support Group Directory

A Directory of Support Groups for people with ongoing health conditions. This first edition MidCentral Support Group Directory provides a listing of support groups operating in Palmerston North, Manawatu, Horowhenua, Tararua, and Otaki. The support group directory was developed by the MidCentral DHB Clinical Networks with support from MidCentral DHB Public Health. 

What is a Support Group?

Members of health-based support groups usually have similar health conditions. They meet to share knowledge, experiences, strengths, and hopes and to gain a sense of community. People join support groups to learn “self-help” techniques and also to offer support to others thereby increasing their own wellbeing.

Benefits of belonging to a support group

There are a number of benefits of belonging to a support group including:
  • Meeting others who have the same health condition
  • Receiving good practical advice about treatment options
  • Sharing experiences
  • Learning tips that others have used to manage the condition
  • Receiving support in putting  ‘self-help’ strategies in place
  • Developing a clearer picture of what life is like with the condition
  • Gaining information of where good resources are available.
  • Reducing anxiety, depression and distress
  • Feeling less isolated and alone.
  • Offering emotional and moral support
  • Meeting new people and forming new friendships
  • Feeling better equipped to support friends or family with the condition

Setting up your own support group

If you would like to be a part of a support group but none of the groups listed in the directory meet your needs you may like to consider setting up a Support Group of your own. See the MidCentral ‘Starting a Support Group Information Booklet’ (this booklet is available from the Support Group Coordinator) or the online resource for more information. In addition, the Support Group Coordinator may be available to guide you as you set up a support group. The Support Group Coordinators details are as follows:
Dr Sara Joice
Senior Health Psychologist
Health and Cancer Psychology Services
Massey University
Ph (06) 3505180
DD (06) 3505799 x84969
Cell (021704861)

Starting a Support Group – information booklet

This booklet has been developed to provide information and guidance to people who are planning to start up a Support Group or who are already in a leadership position within an existing Support Group. It is also useful for all support group membership. If a support group that meets your needs is not available then this booklet provides all the information you need to set one up yourself.
Research shows that people who have health conditions can benefit hugely from being able to share their own experience and interact with others who understand because they are in similar situation. Being part of a support group provides opportunities not only to gain support but also to help others. An ​Information Booklet is available. 

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