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Do you need help to go through or mental health issue or addiction? Are you seeking a free space where you will be accepted and understood? Do you desire to connect with like-minded people for advice and guidance? Have you considered a peer group?

We all have struggles; for many, not knowing where to turn to seek help can be debilitating. If you answered yes to some or all of the questions above, there is hope. Not temporary or elusive, but real hope can begin with peer support.

What is Peer Support?

It's where men or women meet up regularly with shared life experiences. Peer support comprises of people who share common personal circumstances. In the case of RISE AS LIONS, we share our experiences with anxiety, depression, addiction, and other life challenges that lead to these mental health issues. 

In a peer support group setting, our groups provide a nonjudgemental, safe, and confidential space where they can talk freely with others in similar situations or who have gone through what they are feeling. This gives you a good chance of gaining valuable insight, references, and help from peers who understand the value of lending an ear and sharing how they have gained control of their lives.

What Are the Benefits of Joining a Peer Support Group?

For me, it's realizing that I am not alone and that there is a place to get real help from people who understand how I genuinely feel without the fear of feeling judged or put down. Bare with me as I share how I discovered the value of peer support before sharing the benefits.

I was at my lowest point, severely depressed and paralyzed by anxiety. I finally went to two different professional counselors, which gave me some good tools and were helpful for a time. However, what was missing in the sessions was the ability to experience empathy and, when needed, call a friend who understands me and won't charge me for their compassion and help. 

Don't read into this that professional counseling service is terrible. On the contrary, I encourage anyone who is struggling to seek professional help. It helped me get over a hurdle. But when you've gleaned all you can through counseling, then what? While friends and family can be supportive, can they really relate and provide the help you need? 

That's when I started a peer support group for men who were willing to meet, listen and support each other, and grow into what is more of a friend who really understood them. 

Now to the benefits. If you're seeking for an inexpensive way to get support, a peer group is one of the best choices you might make. Most times, they are free, thanks to the generosity of others' financial or service gifts.

Experiencing depression, anxiety, addiction, or other life's curveballs can be one of the most challenging times of your life. Joining a peer support group with others going through the same issues you are is the most suitable way to learn how to deal with your new lifestyle. 

We all know that men find it hard to open up and ask for help. A peer support group may be the best place for men to get help from other fellow men going through the same issues. Life can be unexpected, and sometimes you may feel alone and vulnerable. Peer support can help break down the illusion of aloneness and help you navigate this time in your life. You don't have to suffer in silence any longer, and you don't have to do life alone.

Who Can Join a Peer Support Group?

At any given time, more than 6.25 million Americans use peer support groups, with more than 1.5 million participating in a peer support group at some point in their life, and almost anyone can join a peer support group. Primarily due to finding the right group for you, RISE AS LIONS doesn't accept walk-ins. Instead, we'd like to meet and learn more about your situation for us to find the best group that fits your needs.

It's important to acknowledge that RISE AS LIONS is open to anyone from all walks of life and does not endorse authoritarianism practices. Life is messy, and we want to encourage personal freedom to live a much better life for ourselves and our loved ones.

Final Comments

Peer support groups are integral parts of dealing with everyday life. They are vital to men as it is harder for them to open up and share their life struggles. RISE AS LIONS offers peer support in a safe space where men and women can participate and learn from fellow peers on different aspects of life. With the right peer support group, you are sure to make lifelong friends who will positively impact your new lifestyle.