Programs that maintain lists of mutual support groups and link individuals who are in need of this type of service with a local group that meets their needs.
Autonomous groups of individuals who share a common problem or concern, either directly or through their partners and families, who meet together on a voluntary basis, either in-person, by telephone or via the Internet, to fulfill a need, overcome a disability or cope with a crisis. Members of mutual support groups share their experiences, strengths and hopes and rely on one another for emotional support, information and resources. Included are professionally-facilitated groups, faith-based and secular 12-step models with or without professional participation, groups that use a set of guidelines prepared by a national organization or headquarters, and groups that have no professional participation and/or no specifically-structured format.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.