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Do You Need a Mental Health Community?

Reading Time: 2 minutes, 17 seconds Do you have a mental health community? Do you need one? Do you ev
Do You Need a Mental Health Community?
Reading Time: 2 minutes, 17 seconds
Do you have a mental health community?
Do you need one?
Do you even know what I’m talking about when I write, “mental health community?”
Probably not.
We need a common definition before we can do anything.
And then we need to decide if a mental health community is what you need.
It may not be.
But we should at least break it down to reach a well-informed decision.

My Definition of a Mental Health Community
This is what I think a mental health community is:
A group of people bound together in a common purpose, who, by the very nature of their being bound together, enhance each other’s mental, emotional, and social well-being.
That’s a wordy definition for something that could be stated in much simpler terms:
A group of people who commit to supporting one another in word, action, and emotional support.
A mental health community doesn’t have to have a certain shape. It doesn’t have to have a certain number of people. The medium in which the community operates doesn’t matter so much. The key is a commitment to the well-being of the group.
That could be an online group. It could be an in-person group. It could be a group of close family members or somewhat close work acquaintances. The community could focus exclusively on depression. Or anxiety. Or OCD. Or all of those at once. Or none of those traditional mental health terms.
It all depends on what you need.
Remember, it doesn’t matter what a container looks like as long as it can hold whatever you put in it.
Is a Mental Health Community Right For You?
As I wrote from the outset, maybe you don’t need a mental health community. That’s up to you to decide. You could be completely fine on your own. Maybe you only need a community at certain times in your life.
But if you’re curious about if you should seek out a mental health community, here are some questions to ask yourself:
Do I feel better in groups?
Do I need groups only some of the time?
Is there something I can get from a group that I can’t create for myself?
What kinds of groups make me happiest?
What kind of group venue is best for me?
Are my mental, emotional, and social needs being met?
Answer enough of those questions, and you should be able to tell pretty quickly if there any gaps in your mental health. And you should be able to tell if a mental health community can help you fill in those gaps.
Mental health communities come in all forms. The point is not what they look like–but how they make you feel. Once you remove any preconceived notions about what a mental health community needs to look like, you can get to the heart of the matter.
Even unsightly containers can do what they’re supposed to do.

I hope you’re doing well. What’s your favorite kind of community? I’d love to hear from you.

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Jordan Brown - Mental Health Writer, Poet, and Advocate

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