Self-Help Groups

Case managers often have to consider self-help groups as potential resources for their clients. In order to recommend this resource, case managers must understand the dynamics and effectiveness of self-help groups as well as their strengths and limitations. Traditionally, self-help groups have been linked to twelve-step programs that help members to cope with alcohol or drug addictions. Self-help groups have evolved into environments that help people cope with a variety of family and personal issues. Today, some self-help groups are even available online, allowing members to asynchronously share information and hear the stories of others.

For this Discussion, you evaluate a self-help group, including member contributions and the group experience, to better evaluate the effectiveness of this resource.

To Prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the article, “Cultural Competency in Peer-Run Programs: Results of a Web Survey and Implications for Future Practice.” Consider the findings regarding individual comfort level as it relates to race.
  • Review the article, “A Psychoeducational Support Group for Serious Mental Illness.” Focus on the effects of the self-help group on participants.
  • Review the article, “Empowerment and Peer Support: Structure and a Process of Self-Help in a Consumer-Run Center for Individuals with Mental Illness.” Consider the participants’ experiences as expressed in their own words.
  • Review the media titled Creating Resources.
  • Consider your opinions on the quality of each group member’s participation in the group.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the most productive contribution you observed from a group member and explain why. Then describe which group member appeared to benefit most and which member appeared to benefit least from the group session and explain why. Finally, suggest one way to improve the group experience.   250 words minimum