5 local family support groups—addiction, teen mental health + more


Asbury offers support groups for families across Birmingham. (Asbury UMC)

It can be tough to admit, but we all need help sometimes. Maybe you’ve recently lost your spouse or a family member is struggling with substance use disorder. Asbury United Methodist Church offers various services to support families in the Greater Birmingham Area. Here’s a look at what they offer.

1. Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid Training 2022. (Asbury UMC)

From homework and after-school activities to friends and peer pressure, teens have a lot on their plate. How can parents ensure their kids are doing okay?

On Saturday, August 26, Asbury is teaming up with Kim Bailey, M.Ed., ALC for a Mental Health First Aid class. 

If you’re a parent, this class will provide you with valuable information, including warning signs of teenage mental health struggles and how to provide support.

“It taught me so much. I learned so much about myself and my daughter. The strategies Kim gave helped us understand each other better. Additionally, it was so refreshing and uplifting to have the support of other parents in similar shoes.”

Local parent

Class details:

Discover more ways Asbury supports local families

Substance Abuse Support Groups

Addiction Prevention Coalition
Substance abuse groups for families can help. (Addiction Prevention Coalition)

Addiction can happen to anyone, in any family. It can be difficult to seek help—for yourself or a loved one—but it’s important to know that help is available. 

If it’s time to take that first step toward recovery, Asbury is one place you can go. 

Here are two ways this local church is helping individuals and families battling substance use disorder:

2. Substance Abuse Support for Families

With trained support and education from local nonprofit Addiction Prevention Coalition, this new substance abuse support group is designed to help families with loved ones struggling with substance use disorder. 

In this support group, families will learn about substance use disorder in a safe place where they can share what is going on and receive suggestions.

“We know from personal experience that there are so many people in the community dealing with this issue and due to lack of resources and sometimes guilt and shame, they are afraid to attend a group like this. 

We also know if we can get them to attend once or twice, they usually stay.”

Carie Wimberly, Executive Director, Addiction Prevention Coalition 

Group details: 

  • What: Substance Abuse Support for Families. All sober family members and friends age 18 and older are welcome to attend.
  • When: Monday nights beginning September 11, 2023 | 6:30-8:30PM
  • Where: Asbury United Methodist Church, Room 132, 6690 Cahaba Valley Rd, Birmingham, AL 35242
  • No registration required

3. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Meetings:

For individuals seeking fellowship during their recovery from alcoholism, Asbury hosts an AA meeting three times a week. 

You can also visit the Alcoholics Anonymous website to find a meeting near you. 

Meeting details:

4. Healing Hearts spousal-loss support group

Whether you’re newly married or have been together for more years than you can count, losing a spouse is devastating. But there is help.

If you or a loved one has recently lost their life partner, you can find support with Asbury’s Healing Hearts Spousal-loss Support Group.

Facilitated by Asbury Member Sunny Gilliam with local nonprofit Community Grief Support, this group is designed for those in the Greater Birmingham Area who have lost their spouse within the last two years.

Patty Pollard. (Asbury UMC)

Group participant Patty Pollard moved to Birmingham shortly after the loss of her husband of 34 years. Her grief was further complicated by living in a new area without her usual friends and neighbors to provide her with much-needed support.

“When I heard about Healing Hearts offered at Asbury, I did not hesitate to sign up, and it turned out to be the best decision I could have made.”

Patty Pollard, group participant

Patty gave us three reasons why her decision to take part in Asbury’s Healing Hearts group was so valuable:

  1. The material provided a clear understanding of the grieving process and what to expect from both a mental and physical health perspective. 
  2. Group participants are all experiencing the same loss of a spouse. Walking through the process together is invaluable.
  3. Close friendships are made.

Group details:

5. Caregiver Support Groups

Helping others. (Asbury UMC)

Caring for a loved one with memory loss due to Alzheimer’s or dementia is tough. This is where Asbury’s Anchor Community Respite Ministry strives to help caregivers and their loved ones. 

The program has two goals:

  1. Provide positive stimulation to those with memory loss through socializing, light exercise and activities like arts and crafts, puzzles and music.
  2. To give caregivers a break from their responsibilities so they can focus on their own health and wellbeing. 

Asbury has taken its Anchor program one step further, providing a caregiver support group. 

Part of Asbury’s Congregational Care Ministry, this support group provides caregivers a safe and comforting space to gather with others in the Great Birmingham Area going through a similar situation.

Wendy Teresi. (Asbury UMC)

“This support group has been a bright light in what felt like a dark situation. Having the opportunity to share tears and struggles, along with the laughs and encouragement, while being led by Godly mentors is restoring my soul and strengthening my ability to care for my mom, my family and myself.”

Wendy Teresi, group participant

Group details:

New Education Series

Beginning Thursday, September 7, RenĂ©e Harmon, MD, author of Surfing the Waves of Alzhimer’s: Principles of Caregiving That Kept Me Upright will join Asbury’s Caregiver Support Group for a special four-week class.

Designed for current caregivers as well as those who want to learn how to best support families dealing with dementia, this informative and interactive series features engaging stories and lectures helping attendees gain knowledge, understanding and a deeper compassion for persons living with all forms of dementia.

Class dates:

  • September 7–Dementia 101: Just the Facts, Ma’am
  • October 5–Dementia 102: Communication Issues in Dementia
  • November 2–Dementia 103: Enter Their World
  • December 7–Dementia 104: Care for the Caregiver

Learn more about Asbury United Methodist Church and how it’s supporting locals families—visit their website and follow them on FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.

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