A community feeling is hard to come by when you are dealing with mental health issues. Many mental illnesses tend to create situations where it is easy to become isolated. Either you find yourself pushing others away (as in the case of depression), find yourself not able to easily join with others (as in the case of anxiety, or paranoia, or autism), or literally find yourself excluded by others (as in the case of thought disorders, psychosis and other odd social behavior). The links listed below point to online communities waiting to extend a welcome hand to a lonely traveler. Trafficked mostly by people dealing with mental health issues, these communities serve as a refuge, meeting place, social club and lifeline.
Mental Earth Community (MEC) is a free, independent, non-public, peer support site for people with mental illness of any type. Live chat, blogs, and forums available to adults. Strong emphasis on safety and security. You'll find this online community to be very supportive, nonjudgmental and understanding. From support forums about various mental disorders, medications and different coping skills, to leisure forums like art galleries and entertainment forums, you'll find MEC a healthy environment for personal healing and growth.
Schizophrenia.Com (SZ) is a free-standing community devoted to helping persons with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders. The site is hosted by Brian Chiko in memory of his brother John. SZ forums run on old webboard software which can be unreliable. However, this site has a *devoted* following and is quite active most of the time. Chat is available
A word on terms: 'Forums' refers to bulletin board style community forums wherein users can read and respond to messages posted by others, as well as post their own messages. Forum messages can often be customized with uploaded art and media. 'Chat' refers to 'real-time' text message interchange, much like that which occurs when using instant messenger software, only chat occurs in a group setting with many individuals chatting at once.
Know of other good mental health communities that should be listed here? Please write us with the link.