Dear Alice,

What self-help groups are on campus? I know of the AA meeting that is held on Tuesdays 12:15 to 1:40 PM. Please contact me at my e-mail.

Dear Reader,

There are many groups and opportunities for support and skill-building on the Columbia campus. Not knowing what topics you are interested in, here is information about many different options.

To start, both Alice! Health Promotion and Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) offer a number of different groups and programs that are facilitated by professional staff and encourage info sharing and a supportive atmosphere (and their counterparts on the medical center campus, the Center for Student Wellness and the Mental Health Service). Some groups are more like workshops — meeting once or a few times. Others are ongoing throughout the semester or year. You can request a trainings and workshops through Alice! Health Promotion and the Center for Student Wellness. The counseling services on both the Morningside and Medical Center campuses offer groups and workshops as well. 

In addition, both campuses offer tobacco cessation program for for students interested in quitting smoking. During the sessions, you'll be able to examine the behaviors involved in smoking, learn and practice techniques to address the behaviors that help get quitters through cravings, and discuss nicotine replacement and other medication options available to help with kicking the habit.

Perhaps you're looking for something more like a traditional 12-step group, or on a topic that isn't offered on campus right now. Numerous organizations in New York City and nationwide are available that may have what you're looking for, or may be able to help you form your own group or chapter at Columbia. Here are some to try:

Also, many resources can be found on the Web for self-help and support. It's important to seek information from reputable organizations that have a proven track record, an unbiased approach, and accurate contact information. A good place to start is Mental Health America, which provides links to hundreds of organizations around the country.

Just a reminder: Go Ask Alice! isn't able to answer all questions that come in, nor can responses be sent to individual e-mail boxes. E-mail addresses on the questions that are submitted via the Web site are scrambled en route to protect readers' privacy, and any identifying information included in the text of questions is edited out for the same reason. To learn more about how Go Ask Alice! works, read the About Alice! page.

Good luck in your search for support,

Alice!

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