Informal support groups are composed of people who are not officially organized under a registered name, but who meet together in order to advise, offer solace and friendship, and/or spiritual guidance.
The family is often a strong unit of support for people because there is the genetic bond that the individual members share, as well as their love for one another. Certainly, in times of sorrow, it is usually family to whom a person turns first because they have genuine feelings to share, and meaning is derived from this sharing of thought and emotion. Often it is family who best can console or advise one as they know well the individual.
Sometimes friends can offer solace or comfort better than can family since friends are less likely to try to persuade a person to feel a certain way about an issue. Certainly, when some issues include family members, it is better for an individual to seek help from neighbors or friends as they will be much more objective and are usually less prejudicial than other members of the family, thus increasing the well-being of an individual.
- Pastor/Church members
Again, a pastor or church members will better organized and less opinionated. In one study, for instance,
Three Family Violence victims, all women, identified God as their main source of strength and support, and their belief in God allowed them to deal with the impact of violent behaviours. Their pastors and other church members also played a key role in their healing and gave them the strength to cope with the situation.
Often church members will take up collections for people and aid them financially, as well. In one such situation, a family lost its barn in a fire; nevertheless, the barn was soon rebuilt thanks to contributions from church members.