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Living with a disability can bring unique challenges that others might not fully understand.

That's where support groups come in – they're a friendly gathering where you can chat about your experiences with folks who share similar disabilities and life journeys.

It's a space to connect, share, and find understanding.

When you find a support group that is right for you, it can be a great place to learn tips, get advice, and make new friends. Other benefits include:

  • learning where to find good resources and information
  • feeling less isolated and alone
  • reducing stress and gaining a better sense of well-being
  • getting emotional and moral support.

If you’re keen to get involved in a support group, but are not sure where to start, we’ve got some advice on where to go.

Explore Firstport's support services database

Firstport’s support services section is a useful place to start when looking for a support group to join. There are many organisations listed there who run support groups or will be able to give you information about support groups in your area.

Search Firstport’s support services database

Talk to your health professionals

Have a chat to your doctor, occupational therapist, connector, or carer. They may know of some support groups you could attend or may help you find one.

Visit your local Disability Information Centre

The staff at your local Disability Information Centre (DIC) can help you find a support group that is just right for you. If you don’t how to contact your local DIC, Firstport’s ‘Find a disability information centre’ tool will help you find the contact details for the DIC closest to you

Access Firstport’s find a disability information centre tool

Check Facebook groups

If you’re looking for an online support group, there are lots of Facebook groups that you can join. These groups provide a private space for group members to seek advice, ask questions, and support each

Find out how to join Facebook Groups on Facebook’s Help Centre (external link)

Finding support groups if you’re studying

If you’re a student at a university, institute of technology, or polytechnic there should be a disability services team or office who may be able to connect you with a support group. Visit your education provider’s website to find their contact details.

Start your own group

If you can’t find a support group you’d like to join, you may want to start your own. Starting your own group can be rewarding, but it’s also a big undertaking. Make sure you do some research about what running a group involves before deciding to start one.

The University of Kansas in the United States have a great resource on creating and facilitating peer support groups that goes through everything you need to know about setting up a support group.

Access University of Kansas’ guide on creating and facilitating peer support groups (external link)

Last updated on Tuesday, 28 November 2023

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