hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

April 12, 2007

Support groups

Bereavement support

A Beacon of Hope, a six-week support group for those dealing with the loss of a loved one, presented by Beacon Hospice Inc. on April 12, 19 and 26, and May 3 and 10, 9:30 to 11 a.m., Haverhill Council on Aging, 10 Welcome St. For more information, call Lucille Bonanno, bereavement coordinator, at 978-372-4211.

Coping with Loss: A monthly drop-in support group on April 26 and May 24, 1:30 to 3 p.m., Andover Senior Center, facilitated by Diane Blake and Deb Demella. To register, call 978-552-4539.

All groups are free and open to the public. For more information on all of Merrimack Valley Hospice's support groups, call 978-552-4848.

Ongoing grief support

Loss of a child through stillbirth, abortion or miscarriage support at Caritas Holy Family Hospital, 70 East St., Methuen the first Wednesday of the month, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Cremins Suite. For information, call 978-687-0156, ext. 2240.

Merrimack Valley Hospice, 360 Merrimack St., Bldg. 9, Lawrence offers bereavement support the first Wednesday of the month, 5 to 6:30 p.m. For information, call 978-552-4539.

Spousal loss support group meets in 12-week sessions at Haverhill Crossings on Tuesdays, 9:30 to 11 a.m., and Wednesdays,10 to 11:30 a.m. To join a group, contact Nancy Thornton at 978-374-9257.

Widows and widowers education and support program meets Wednesdays at Haverhill Crossings, 254 Amesbury Road, 10 to 11:30 a.m. The program is co-sponsored by Farmer & Sons Bethany Bereavement and Resource Center and Sacred Hearts Pastoral Center. All are welcome. For details, call 978-372-1281.

GriefShare, a nondenominational support group, meets Saturdays at West Congregational Church, 767 Broadway, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Individuals are welcome to join at any time. For information, call 603-898-8278 or 978-374-7248.

Allegiance Hospice, 67 Middle St., Lowell, sponsors a free bereavement support group for adults on the second and fourth Saturday of each month, 10:30 a.m. to noon. For information, call 877-255-4623.

Young widow or widower bereavement support through Merrimack Valley Hospice meets Thursdays, 6 to 7:30 p.m., at Caritas Holy Family Hospital, Methuen, in the Board Room. The series is free and open to the public. For information, call 978-552-4572.

Community support

The Mother Connection, a nonprofit organization for area mothers and families, will continue a series of one-time meetings for mothers with newborn babies throughout 2007. Participants spend an informal evening getting to know one another, learning more about the organization and forming play groups or support groups. Meetings are free and held every other month at 7:30 p.m. in Andover. For information, call 978-738-9612 or 978-750-0701.

Overeaters Anonymous meets Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at the First Church of Christ, 10 Church St. on Bradford Common. For information, call 978-373-5230.

Bipolar disorder: A new support group is being created in Hampstead, N.H., to address the needs of those affected by bipolar disorder. The group welcomes people from southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts who suffer with bipolar disorder or who know someone who does. It aims to provide a safe and confidential environment for people seeking hope, recovery or support for dealing with the disorder. Bipolar disorder is considered one of the most severe and devastating forms of mental illness. It affects about 4 percent of the nation's population. For information, call 603-560-3682.

ADHD help: Peter Williams, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist in Newburyport, facilitates a free support group for adults with ADHD and for parents of children with ADHD on the third Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. for 90 minutes in the Higgins Conference Room at Anna Jaques Hospital, Newburyport. For information, call 978-465-3366.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at the Veterans Center, 10 Reed St. Sundays at 10:30 a.m.; Mondays at the First Church of Christ, 10 Church St., Bradford at 8 p.m.; Tuesdays at St. John the Baptist Church, 110 Lincoln Ave. at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 471 Main St. at 8 p.m.; Fridays, an open 12-step program at Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital, 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.; Saturdays at Merrimack Valley Hospital auditorium from 8 to 9 p.m.

Fibromyalgia support group meets every first Wednesday, 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Hilton Senior Center, 41 Lafayette Road, Salisbury. For information, call 978-462-5403.

The Upbeat Connection, a support group for people suffering with multiple sclerosis, meets every third Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Atkinson Community Center, Route 121, Atkinson, N.H. For information, call 603-382-1222.

Teens with Mood Disorders meets on Thursdays at 5 p.m. in the mental health outpatient clinic at the Amesbury Health Center. For details, call 978-834-8200.

ThyCa Merrimack, for survivors of thyroid cancer, meets every second Saturday in the third-floor conference room at the Family Health Center, 34 Haverhill St., Lawrence, 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Neurofibromatosis patients and parents of children with the disorder may join a new support group. Affecting one in 44,000 babies, the disorder causes tumors to grow on nerves anywhere in the body including the brain and spinal cord causing blindness, deafness, loss of limbs, chronic pain, paralysis, skeletal defects and cardiovascular problems. Half of the patients developing the disorder have no genetic history. For information, call 888-585-5316.

Lyme disease support group meets the second Tuesday of the month at Heritage House, Route 114, 9 Summer St., Danvers, 7 to 9 p.m. For information, call 978- 468-6336.

Cancer support

WE CARE cancer support group meets the third Tuesday of every month in the Merrimack Valley Hospital atrium, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The group offers support for cancer patients and their family and friends. For information, call 978-521-8556.

Breast cancer support is offered the last Wednesday of the month at the Amesbury Health Center in the women's conference room at 7 p.m. Free and open to all. For information, call 978-388-9655.

Parent support

PAL, the Professional Parent Advocacy League, facilitates a support group in Haverhill for individuals who are parenting a child with an emotional or behavioral special need. The group meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Haverhill Family Network, 21 Wingate St., 6 to 8 p.m. Child care is not available. To register or for information, call 978-388-7032, ext. 308 or nacollier@comcast.net. PAL is the Massachusetts state chapter of the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health. Support groups are free of charge and are not classes, but self-help groups.

Parents Helping Parents offers a free, confidential and anonymous support group in Haverhill every Thursday, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Share experiences and receive support and encouragement from other parents. For information, call 800-882-1250 or visit www.parentshelpingparents.org.

Support for Young Parents is offered Wednesdays from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Amesbury Health Center, 24 Morrill Place, Amesbury. The group offers education and support free of charge to young parents with children, infants to age 5. Children are welcome. For information, call 978-372-1285, ext. 6142 or 888-663-3688, ext. 6142.

Grandparents as Parents group meets once per month on a Tuesday at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.,10 to 11:30 a.m. For information, call 978-374-2390.

Parents of children with behavioral and emotional problems, a support group, meets the first and third Tuesday of every month, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Haverhill Family Network at the First Presbyterian Church, 346 Broadway, Haverhill. Just drop in or call. This group offers support to parents of children with emotional, behavioral or mental health special needs. Pizza is provided. For information, call 978-388-7032, ext 224.