Individuals need emotional and also social support when going through medical treatments, disease diagnoses and progression, rehabilitation, caretaking, addiction, remission, and more. When one has traumatic or difficult medical and nonmedical experiences, it is important for individuals to have social and emotional support which can come in the form of a support group. One may be comforted by others when one feels alone, depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, or hopeless.
While everyone has different experiences and ways of coping with their situation, everyone can gain from emotional support and hope from others and develop comfort in knowing that others have experienced the same or a similar situation. If you or someone you know has a disease or disorder, is struggling with a diagnosis, is strained as a caretaker, or needs the comfort of others, consider attending a support group related to your situation. You may find strangers who become friends, practical advice for your disease or your loved one's disease, and also hope. Having others around you may benefit your mental health and well-being. Please see a health care provider for a proper diagnosis as well as seek professional counseling for support of any mental, physical, or emotional health diagnosis.
Below is a list of support groups provided by Augusta Health and in the surrounding area:
For those with Type 1 and 2 Diabetes and their family and friends. For information, call the Diabetes & Nutrition Self-Management Education Program at (540) 941-2537 or 540.213.253.
For newly diagnosed cancer patients who have fears, questions or concerns. For information, call Leigh Anderson at (540) 245-7105
For patients diagnosed with breast cancer. For information, call Leigh Anderson at (540) 245-7105
Continuing Survivorship Group
For cancer patients who have completed treatment but still feel the need for continued support. For information, call Leigh Anderson at (540) 245-7105.
For those who are impacted by Parkinson's disease and their family members, partners, and friends. For information, contact Joyce Huddle: joyce229 [at] comcast.net () , (540) 943-2229 or Ashley Reibel: AReibel [at] AugustaHealth.com ().
For those who have experienced a stroke and their family members, and friends. For more information contact Shelley Payne at (540) 332-4047.
Grief Support Group
For individuals and families who have lost a loved one. For information, contact Debbie Brown, Bereavement Counselor of Hospice of the Shenandoah at (540) 932-4911 or dbrown [at] augustahealth.com ().
This group meeting is designed to share ideas and improve quality of life following ostomy surgery. For information and hear the dates and times, contact (540) 245-7236
For individuals suffering the loss of a spouse, parent, sibling, child, family member, or friend. For information, contact Nancy Jo Gibson, Director of Soul Care and Biblical Guidance at (540) 886-2015.
The Compassionate Friends
This is a self-help organization that provides support to families after death of a child. For information, contact Zora Jenkins at jenkins.zora [at] comcast.net () or (540) 463-4558.
Caregivers Support Group
For caregivers of elderly adults. For more information, call (540) 949-4151
Mental Health America of Augusta
MHA-A offers a number of programs to educate the public about mental health and mental illness, to provide practical information and referral, and to enable mental health professional enrichment. Advocacy, education, and other programs can be found by visiting or contacting www.mha-augusta.org, mhaa [at] lumos.net, 540. 886.7181, or MHA-A, the Professional Building Suite 206, 101 W. Frederick Street, Staunton VA 24401.
For information about ongoing or upcoming support groups on coping with death, grief, or mental illness, Dr. Cynthia Long of Western States is a Certified Grief Counselor and Chaplain. Dr. Long facilitates support groups based on request. For more information or upcoming groups, contact Dr. Long at (540) 332-8004
Information provided by Lishey Dent, Intern from JMU, working with Community Outreach at Augusta Health.