(BPT) - There are many challenges to living with paralysis. Whether you have paralysis yourself or are caring for someone who does, it can feel overwhelming and isolating at times. Support groups can make a big difference in helping you feel connected and understood.

Virtual support groups are a good option for many people in the paralysis community. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Virtual Support Groups are led by professional facilitators and peer mentors who are living with paralysis or the family members/caregivers of individuals living with paralysis.

Here are the top reasons to consider joining a virtual support group today:

Convenience and flexibility

Virtual groups eliminate many barriers associated with in-person gatherings, including those related to transportation, location and time. Without the need for travel time, you have the flexibility to attend the sessions you need throughout the week.

Specialized groups

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Virtual Support Groups are for anyone impacted by paralysis. Groups are held for individuals living with quadriplegia, those living with paraplegia, and family members/caregivers so that meetings can focus on the unique needs and challenges of each.

Information and answers

When you bring people together, everyone benefits from their collective knowledge. There are many different questions you'll have throughout your journey after being diagnosed with paralysis or spinal cord injury. Others in your support group may have already had the same experiences and know the answers, and if not, can help direct you to someone who does.

Mental wellness

Paralysis challenges go beyond the physical. Mental health can be impacted as well. Feelings of depression, isolation and many more concerns are common and can happen at any time. Support groups are a safe place to talk about these feelings and know that you are not alone.

Community and connection

The paralysis community is a broad spectrum of people all bound together by a common experience. Support groups help you become a part of this community, providing a feeling of connection and a sense of belonging, and for some people, are also a source of pride.

Freedom to be yourself

Support groups offer you a place to be your authentic self. You can share ideas, ask questions, feel vulnerable, laugh, cry and many more things, knowing that other people are there to help. Whether it's good or bad days, weeks or months, a support group helps to guide you through them.

To learn more about virtual support groups for people impacted by paralysis, visit www.christopherreeve.org.

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