Online Support Groups
There are many groups that occur within the context of social work, examples include social conversations, recreation, problem solving and self-help groups. In the Charles Tasrow’s book, groups are defined as two or more individuals who engage in one to one conversations. This study analyzes the online support groups with a keen interest on Facebook.
Support groups are created with a sole purpose of helping members; they are characterized by people who have burdensome issues. Online support groups have many advantages, they provide an online platform where people with the same issues can gather and share coping strategies, and they can take the form of help sites where people are provided with relevant information that is closely related to personal experiences. Through online social groups, people are able to feel less isolated as they created connections with other people; they are good ways of providing help beyond the usual circle. People can share their feelings more openly in the social groups, they are able to reduce stress and anxiety by helping participants to have insights about what to expect in their situations.
Despite the numerous benefits, the online support groups have many disadvantages; one of the most obvious disadvantages is the absence of visual cues. The evident cultural difference among the participants may present challenges when communicating and this can result to arguments. They involve costs since one has to access the internet and the high cost of computers. One may receive too much information that does not pertain to their problems.
One good example of an online support group is the Beating bowel Cancer. The online support group was established with an aim of supporting and campaigning charity for all the people who affected by the bowel cancer. The online support group is under the leadership of a board of trustees, who are responsible for creating the strategy, agreeing on the objective and approving plans to deliver the mission of the group, the board is made of eleven members. Membership is open to the support group since they need volunteers, but specific attention is focused on those with bowel cancer. There are no membership costs in this group, but they actively depend on donations.