If you have a mental illness, or support someone who does, I recommend the following free support groups. These groups can be very helpful for people with a mental illness, in conjunction with physician care and/or therapy.

In-person peer led support groups (in the U.S.):  National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).

Online support forums: My Support Forums (formerly PsychCentral) at

Resource for bipolar disorder information/articles: bp Magazine is a quarterly printed periodical available by subscription. You can order it or browse their online resource at  

Recommended app for medication tracking/reminders: MyTherapy offers a free downloadable app. Find the link at They also have an excellent blog.

You are never alone in your mental illness. There are many people who understand the pain and challenges.

If ever you feel you may be a possible harm to yourself or to others, please seek help immediately by telling others, contacting your doctor, and/or going to the emergency room at your nearby hospital (or call 911). They are there to help. I, personally, have also received great support from calling a suicide hotline in the past. In the U.S., you can reach The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

I know that many other countries offer free peer-led support, as well. If you live outside the United States and would like to share the names of reputable in-person free peer-led support groups or suicide hotlines, please feel free to do so in a comment below. Don’t forget to mention your country name.


  1. You might be the only one who can answer this delicate matter. We have a lady who has been associated with at least four local churches before she attended and became a member at ours. A first I thought she was a gift from God. She wanted to teach a lady’s Bible class, assist me in the women’s ministry, had compiled 12 Sunday School lessons, etc. etc.. Then one day, simply blew up at me over the most trivial item and withdrew from all activities and as a church member.

    Having grown up with a bipolar and extremely violent father, I recognized bipolar anger when I saw it and realized my gratitude at her over-the-top-enthusiasm to assist me was simply her mania stage. She left the church but returned several weeks later, remorseful but not with a reconciliation attitude. In the meantime, my pastor husband discovered she had similar blow-ups at those four previous churches (even pastors related she used the same phrases on others she used on me and another lady in our church.)

    My question is, how does one suggest she needs help if she fails to recognize her mental illness? s a counselor I care but am too emotionally close to this situation to really help. (Being around someone with potential anger of that magnitude is of course traumatic for me as you can imagine.) Thank you and I hope this isn’t crossing the bounds of our friendship by bringing this up and asking. I appreciate any advice,

    Liked by 2 people

    • updownflight August 17, 2018 / 4:58 pm

      Hi Ellie. “Running away” from people/places and starting new does seem to be a tendency for many people with bipolar disorder. It was for me, at many points. Anger issues we’re definitely involved in many of my departures.

      I’m assuming from what you wrote that she is either unaware of her behavior being dysfunctional, fighting some awareness, or insufficiently treated (or not accepting any). Do you know for certain her diagnosis, if she has an official diagnosis? If not, only a doctor can really make that determination. It could be bipolar disorder, or even any of other disorders (Borderline Personality, other, etc.) In any case, I understand wanting to help her get help. It’s not always easy, though, even via interventions from one’s closest family/friends. That’s not to say people shouldn’t help, but it should be done very carefully.

      To my knowledge, some pastors receive some training on how to approach/help people with psychological issues. If unsure of the best approach, perhaps someone with more experience can be consulted. I know that therapists themselves sometimes need feedback/advice from other therapists. I’m a little hesitant to give more advice than that, because I don’t feel qualified. However, know that if someone approached me in the lady’s situation you describe, it would be best done very carefully so that I didn’t jump to the defensive.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much for your input my friend, it really is helpful. No, I don’t believe she has been diagnosed yet for she is certainly in denial that anything’s wrong with her – she told me in the beginning that it’s always someone else’s fault. A characteristic I definitely saw in my father as among other horrible experiences, he beat my mom unconscious. (You know the drill, “I wouldn’t be doing this if you didn’t make me so mad!!!” syndrome.) As a counselor I know that unless one recognizes, acknowledging their behavior they ‘ll deny it too. I’ve basically stayed away from her and she remains isolated from others when she attends church. Thanks so much for your help, ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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