Your online support group checklist
When you're diagnosed with a health condition, you can't help but feel alone sometimes — but you don't have to. If you want the feedback of someone who knows what you're going through firsthand, an online support group could be your answer. Joining a support group is a good way to find comfort, encouragement and information from others who are going through or have gone through what you're experiencing. In some cases, that's the only way you can feel like you're being completely understood.
If you would rather not attend meetings, feel too shy about speaking up in person, want to remain anonymous or simply can't find one in your area, then consider joining our online support group. It's convenient, free of charge and only takes up as much time as you want.
You'll be able to review all of our discussion threads without being a member. Before you join, take time to review what members are talking about and how they interact with one another. Use this checklist to satisfy yourself that our support group is worth your time — and your trust.
Our group is linked and are members of recognized national health organizations. We are linked to by some major health organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), and we are members of the American Self-Help Clearinghouse and the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society,
Our group is moderated in a professional manner by long-time members. Our moderators are actively patroling online group abusers (such as those who monopolize conversations, use profane language or insult or dismiss other members) yet still allow healthy conversations to flourish without interference.
Group guidelines have been established. Guidelines, Terms of Service and Help menus include information about starting discussion threads, language and tone to be used and information on how to express concern over another member's lack of adherence to these guidelines. Our guidelines show that thought and consideration have been put into how the group operates.
Our group is not funded for a specific commercial gain. Hosting an online support group isn't free. Someone must be paying for the hosting, functionality and technology behind the online group. Our group discloses who sponsors it. Members will never be faced with unwanted advertising for a particular product through postings or through email.
Your anonymity is guaranteed. When you post or reply to a post, none of your personal information will be displayed. If anything, your user name or screen name will appear but nothing else. We always recommend to be careful that you don't give away personal information inadvertently when posting or replying.
This group does not try to replace your doctor. An online support group should never replace your doctor. Members should never recommend that you go off treatment or change the treatment prescribed by your doctor, even if that member has had a positive experience with another method. If you do find interesting information posted on our website, do ask your doctor but don't assume that what worked for one person will work for you. That's for you and your doctor to decide.
Signup now for our free community and join the conversation.