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Resources to strengthen and create support groups

“My clients benefit tremendously building from a sense of shared experience and accountability that support groups provide.  An additional bonus is the course of the support group which can significantly enhance clients’ overall growth.”

Kelly Walker, LCMFT
Therapist at Walker Counseling Services, LLC

Help yourself to these resources to run an existing support group or create a new support group. If you have additional questions, email Angela at SupportGroups @ wichita.edu or call 1-800-445-0116 [toll-free in Kansas] or 316-978-5496. To get more information about the Wichita State's Center for Community Support and Research (CCSR), you can subscribe to our newsletter here. Type 'add to newsletter' in the subject.

Database of support groups for Kansas, including local and national resources

Our comprehensive database contains local and national support group resources from across Kansas in 48 topics. Website:  http://SupportGroupsInKansas.org

PNGImage  Support Group Initiative new flier

PNGImage  Support Group Services brochure

University of Kansas Tool Box

The Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas hosts a Community Tool Box which has resources to help people build healthier communities, including a comprehensive section around Creating and Facilitating Peer Support Groups.


Ideas to help existing support groups flourish

.PNGImageKeeping a Support Group Going: Five Things to Remember

PNG ImageProgram Ideas for Your Support Group

PNG ImagePublic Relations Strategies


Recruitment suggestions for gaining new members:

PNG ImageSuggested Techniques for Recruiting Members

PNG ImageWelcoming a New Member to Your Self-Help Group


Considerations for building leadership skills

PNG ImageKey Characteristics of an Effective Support Group Leader

PNGImageHow to Build Shared Leadership


Skills which enhance relationships and communication

PNG ImageThe Art of Active Listening

PNG ImageDiscussion Questions


Information to help new support groups get started

PNG ImageStarting a Support Group:  Important Decisions

PNG ImageSuggestions on Locating a Meeting Place

PNG ImageHelpful Hints for a Successful First Meeting

PNG ImageHow to Start a Support Group of Mental Health Consumers


Connecting professionals with your support group

PNG ImageWays Professionals Can Support You


How the Center for Community Support and Research started

The story of CCSR began in 1984 when social worker Evelyn MIddelstadt saw the difficulties of parents with special needs children. She started connecting these parents together by forming a self-help support group where they could provide mutual comfort and understanding. Read more about the history of CCSR.

The center has been partnering with communities and organizations to strengthen Kansan through education, leadership development, facilitation and reserach for more than 30 years. To learn more about the services at the Center for Community Support and Research, visit the homepage.

The database of support groups is maintained by the Wichita State University Center for Community Support and Research and is supported by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.


'Support Group Awareness' news release, January 2013 

Support groups are available in most counties in Kansas. Gov. Brownback proclaims January 2013  as Support Group Awareness Month. Here is the full release.