Who Are We? who we are
Support Groups Queensland (SGQ), formerly known as Self Help Queensland, has its origins in the Australian Self Helping Health Care Association (ASHHCA) which begun in 1983 and was formally incorporated in Queensland in November 1984.
All Queenslanders share their lived experiences of health challenges to help themselves and each other to improve their health and wellbeing.
We support people to find and sustain support groups to improve their health. We help groups across the broad spectrum of health, including genetic conditions, chronic disease, addiction, grief and loss, abuse, carer responsibilities and mental health.
1) Develop the capacity of support groups to help their members through adverse life circumstances and serious health challenges.
2) Encourage people to form and sustain new support groups as new health issues, and community needs emerge.
3) Improve the access of all Queenslanders to self-help groups, expanding the self-help sector’s engagement with:
- A diversity of health issues,
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups,
- Culturally and linguistically diverse groups, and
- Rural and remote communities.
4) Ensure that sharing the lived experience of health challenges is a valued part of recovery, sustaining well-being, and managing chronic disease.
5) Build the sustainability of Self Help Queensland to allow its strategies to be achieved.
In 1995, Qld Health-funded ASHHCA to identify the needs of the Self Help Sector in Queensland. Findings were that groups wanted to join a peer network to share resources and support each other. In addition, they wanted to let their communities know of the support they provide and be a strong, united voice when advocating for meaningful policy.
In October 1995, ASHHCA became the Queensland Network of Self Help Organisations Inc (QNOSHO) to promote, support and enable self-care in Queensland. In 1998, the organisation’s name was simplified to become Self Help Queensland Inc (SHQ).
Since its foundation, SHQ has evolved its focus and activities to reflect the wishes of its members. SGQ supports people to find and sustain support groups to improve their health and well-being.
We help people, their families, and carers, with all kinds of health issues, including genetic conditions, chronic disease, addiction, grief and loss, parenting, trauma, abuse, and mental health.
We make referrals and assist all groups, whether local or international, small, or large, online or face-to-face, formal or casual. Support groups are also called peer support, lived experience groups or support groups. We can assist with practical help, planning and referral, promotion, training, and networking.
Self-help and support groups often complement professionals and services; professionals and organisations also run groups.
Our services are free, and we can help establish, develop, promote, and sustain support groups. We also assist organisations and people to find the right support groups for their clients.
SGQ is a registered Health Promotion Charity and we thank Queensland Health for the funding we have received since 1995 to help carry out our essential and important work.