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Understanding the Role of Participation in Online Support Groups on Mental Well-being

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Page: 457-465
Nandini Agrawal, Apoorva Someshwar, Aadishree Ravi, Anand Arul Dhas, and Akriti Srivastava (Department of Psychology, Christ (Deemed to be) University, Bannerghatta, Bangalore, Karnataka)

Online support groups are defined as a virtual community where people with common experiences come together to share, in doing so online support groups have created a niche where the aspects of mental health such as well-being come into play especially during the current times of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current study aims to understand the role of participation in online support groups on mental well-being. The theoretical base for the study is the PERMA model of well-being as given by Seligman. The participants were selected using purposive sampling (N=6) and data collection was done using semi-structured interviews. The analysis employed was thematic analysis, post which 4 major themes emerged in the data i.e. attraction towards online support groups, socialising amongst members, mental health before and after participation. The results of the study answer the research questions showing that participation in online support groups has led to an improvement in the mental well-being of the participants by virtue of many factors, some being; providing a safe space, lack of judgement and an open space to express vulnerability.

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Page: 457-465
Nandini Agrawal, Apoorva Someshwar, Aadishree Ravi, Anand Arul Dhas, and Akriti Srivastava (Department of Psychology, Christ (Deemed to be) University, Bannerghatta, Bangalore, Karnataka)