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Self-help groups, sometimes known as mutual-help or support groups, are groups of people who provide mutual support for one another. The members consist of peers who share similar mental, emotional, or physical challenges or who are interested in a focal issue such as education or parenting. Most self-help groups are voluntary, nonprofit associations open to anyone with similar needs or interests, although sometimes, these groups may be run by a mental health professional. Although the structure tends to be informal, the group undertakes defined tasks. Group participation typically is free of charge or low in cost.

Historical Context

Formal support groups may appear to be a modern phenomenon, but they are actually an offshoot of historical fraternal organizations such as Freemasonry, the origins of which date to ...

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