EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 2, 2008

Support Groups


Young adult grief support group is a group for young adults who want to learn about feelings associated with grief and how to cope with them. The group will meet on March 4 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Greater Lawrence Technical High School in the front Conference Room, 57 River Road, Andover. Free and open to young adults. For more information, call Lucille Bonanno at 978-372-421.

Beacon Hospice, Inc. offers the following support groups which are free and open to the public:

r Bereavement Support Group meets every fourth Tuesday at Comeau Funeral Home, 486 Main St., Haverhill, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Call Lucille Bonanno at 978-372-4211 or e-mail lbonanno@beaconhospice.com.

r Elder Losses Support/Discussion Group meetings every Friday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the North Andover Council on Aging, 120R Main St., North Andover. Call Lucille Bonanno at 978-372-4211 or e-mail lbonanno@beaconhospice.com.

Camp Stepping Stones is offered by the Center for Grief and Healing and provides support for children and families who have experienced the loss of a loved one. For information about CGH Children's Program, visit www.griefandhealing.org.

Merrimack Valley Hospice is offering several bereavement support groups throughout the area. All support groups are free and open to the public and include:

r Bereavement Support Group meets Thursday nights, March 27 to April 24, at St. Michael's Parish, North Andover. Call 978-552-4537.

r Adult Loss of Parent support group on Wednesdays, 6 to 7:30 p.m. through March 12 in Haverhill. Call 978-552-4522.

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 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Cremins Suite. 978-687-0156, ext. 2240.

Spousal loss support group meets in 12-week sessions at Haverhill Crossings on Mondays from 9:30 to 11 a.m. To join a group, call Nancy Thornton at 978-374-9257.

Widows and widowers education and support program meets Wednesdays at Haverhill Crossings, 254 Amesbury Road in Haverhill from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Sponsored by Farmer & Sons Bethany Bereavement and Resource Center. All welcome. Call Nancy Thornton at 978-374-9257.

GriefShare, a nondenominational support group meets Saturdays at West Congregational Church, 767 Broadway in Haverhill from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Call Jim Garand at 603-898-8278 or Lori Nutter at 978-374-7248.

Adult bereavement support group meets the second and fourth Saturday of each month, 10:30 a.m. to noon, at Allegiance Hospice, 67 Middle St. in Lowell. Free; all welcome. Call Abhaya Sandy Kopka at 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 in Methuen. Free; all welcome. 978-552-4572.

Safe Place suicide survivor support group meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Michael Parish, 196 Main St., North Andover. Free and confidential for those who have lost a loved one through suicide. Call 978-688-0030. The Samaritans of Merrimack Valley provides two free and confidential suicide crisis lines for those who are lonely, despairing or suicidal. Call 866-912-4673 or 978-688-6607.

Rockingham VNA and Hospice will be offering two six-week bereavement support groups starting Monday, March 24, and concluding Monday, April 28. Both groups will meet at the Rockingham VNA and Hospice office, 137 Epping Road, Exeter, N.H. The General Support Group will meet from 10:30 a.m. to noon and the Motherless Daughter Group will meet from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Free and open to all community members. For more information or to register, call 603-772-2981.


Support group forming for non-custodial divorced mothers who are now dealing with this issue with their teenage and 20-something children. For locations and information, call Beverly at 978-345-5220.

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

Parents Helping Parents offers a free, confidential and anonymous support group in Haverhill every Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Share experiences and receive support and encouragement from other parents. Call 1-800-882-1250 for location or visit www.parentshelpingparents.org.

Support for Young Parents is offered Wednesdays, 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Amesbury Health Center, 24 Morrill Place, Amesbury. Offers education and support free of charge to young parents with children, infants to age 5. Children welcome. For information, call Dawn Parkin, family health care advocate at 978-372-1285, ext. 6142 or 1-888-663-3688, ext. 6142.

Grandparents as Parents group meets first and last Wednesday of each month at Catholic Charities, Heritage Place, 430 South Union St. in Lawrence, and at other times and locations in Merrimack Valley. To register, call Rachelle Comtois at 978-459-3242.

Parenting A Difficult Child support group meets the first and third Tuesday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m. at Haverhill Family Network, First Presbyterian Church, 346 Broadway, Haverhill. Offers support to parents of children with emotional, behavioral or mental health special needs. To register, call 978-388-7032.

Parent support group meets Tuesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Upper Room on Tsienneto Road in Derry, N.H., to discuss the challenges of raising substance-free teens. Opportunity for parents to exchange ideas and receive information. Led by Debbie Thomas, a Londonderry Middle School guidance counselor.

Parents Without Partners informational meetings throughout Southern New Hampshire each month. Opportunity for single parents to learn about international, nonprofit, volunteer support group for custodial and noncustodial single parents. Local chapter sponsors educational programs, recreational activities and social activities for families and adults. For times and locations, call 603-669-4275.

Chester Mothers Club offers an opportunity to meet other area moms and participate in activities with your child. Daytime events include park days, playgroups, holiday parties, craft projects, outings to zoos, museums, movies and more. Call Rachel MacMillan at 603-553-5473.

The Mothers' Club in Sandown, N.H., is a nonprofit organization for mothers of young children with a strong interest in community fundraising. Offers play groups, outings with children and Moms Night Out. New members always welcome. Call Renee at 603-887-5026.

Stepmothers support group meets the first Monday of each month at the Salem Boys & Girls Club in Salem, N.H. at 6 p.m. New members welcome. All meetings are confidential. Visit www.salemstepmothers.org.

Grandparents as Parents support group meets third Friday of each month at Greater Salem Caregivers, 287 Lawrence Road, Salem, N.H., at 9:30 a.m. Opportunity for grandparents raising their grandchildren to meet, share experiences and learn from one another. Call Cindy Jury at 603-893-5493.


Military family support group meets 7 to 8:30 p.m. the second Thursday of the month at the Veterans Northeast Outreach Center, 10 Reed St., Haverhill. Group provides speakers and information about stress management, separation anxiety, financial planning and assistance, deployment assistance, welcome home preparation, veteran benefits and health care programs and recognizing the signs of post-traumatic stress syndrome. For information, call 978-372-3626 or e-mail vetreach@northeastveterans.org.

Hope's Children group for adult children of substance abuse meets every Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Psychological Center in Lawrence. E-mail hopeschildren@hotmail.com.

Separated and Divorced nondenominational support group meets every Monday 7:30 to 10 p.m. in the Center for Education and Ministry of St. Augustine's Parish second floor, 35 Essex St., Andover. All welcome. Call John Matera at 978-852-7827 or e-mail j.matera@comcast.net or call the Parish Office at 978-475-0050 and ask for the ministries coordinator.

Divorced, Separated, Widowed nondenominational support group meets every Monday, 8 to 9:30 p.m. at Mary Queen of Peace Church Hall, Lawrence Road, Salem, N.H. Nondenominational. For information, call Jim at 603-893-2382 or Valerie at 978-689-3677.

Overeaters Anonymous is a 12-step program of recovery from compulsive eating. There are no dues or fees for membership, only a "desire to stop eating compulsively." For information and the location of a meeting near you, call 978-407-9909 or 781-641-2303. In southern New Hampshire, call 603-434-7578. www.oa.org.

Healthy Lifestyles, a women's exercise group that covers exercise, practical steps to a healthier lifestyle, how to choose better foods, and weekly support and encouragement. Saturdays, 7 to 9 a.m. River of Life Church, 26 Parkridge Road, Haverhill.


The Newburyport Asperger syndrome support group will meet on Monday, March 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Cafeteria Room of Anna Jaques Hospital. A general discussion is planned. This support group addresses issues faced by parents of school-aged children who have been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, high-functioning autism, or a related challenge. For more information, contact Carol Keating at 978-372-2799, carolkeating@verizon.net, or Dr. Suzanne Phillips at 978-356-1775, suzanne.phillips@gordon.edu.

"Dementia and Depression in the Elderly" will be presented by Dr. Janice Funk on Thursday, March 13, from 4 to 6 p.m. at The Prescott House, 140 Prescott St., North Andover. A light dinner will be served. For more information or to reserve a seat, call Marie Sherman at 978-685-8086, ext. 551.

ALS support group reaches out to support individuals and families coping with the diagnosis of ALS. Meetings are held on the last Wednesday of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the boardroom of Caritas Holy Family Hospital, Methuen. For more information, visit www.als-ma.org or call 1-888-287-3257.

Alzheimer/dementia support group meets second Tuesday every month from 4 to 5 p.m. at Sutton Hill Rehabilitation Center, 1801 Turnpike St., North Andover. For information, call Lucille Bonanno at 978-372-4211 or e-mail lbonanno@beaconhospice.com.

Living with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis support group meets second Wednesday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Parkland Medical Center, Nutfield Professional Building, Entrance A, Suite 203, Derry, N.H. There is no charge to attend. For more information, call Stacey Snyder at 1-800-314-3459, ext. 13.

Scleroderma support group meets the last Saturday of every month at the Hampstead Public Library from 10 a.m. to noon. Anyone interested in learning more about scleroderma and pulmonary hypertension is welcome. For more information, call Pat Gelinas at 329-8382 or the Scleroderma Foundation's New England Chapter office at 1-888-525-0658.

Crohn's and colitis support group meets third Wednesday of each month at Holy Family Hospital, first-floor boardroom, 70 East St., Methuen. Free. Call Stacey Snyder at 1-800-314-3459, ext. 13.

NAMI group meets at 7 p.m. on the first and third Friday of every month at Caritas Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, MRI wing in Classroom 2. Support for family and friends of those suffering from mental illness. Free; all welcome. Call 978-725-2537.

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. Call Helen Beauregard at 603-382-1222.

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 from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Anxiety and panic sufferers meet Mondays from noon to 1 p.m. and Tuesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. in North Andover. Participants will learn how to control panic attacks and anticipatory anxiety. For information, call Panic Relief Inc. at 732-940-9658.

Self-injury Anonymous meetings, hosted by Caritas Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, are held Fridays from 7 to 8 p.m. Self-injury Anonymous is a gathering of men and women who share their experience with self-injury to offer hope and healing.

A Circle of Hope, a free support group for families of substance abusers, meets Wednesdays from 7 to 8:45 p.m. at the Psychological Center, 11 Union St., Lawrence.

Cardiac rehab support group meets at Parkland Medical Center in Derry, N.H. the first Tuesday of each month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The next meeting will be on March 4. The topic will be "Living with your Medications." Free; registration is required. Call 603-432-1500, ext. 3076.

Bipolar disorder support group addresses needs of those suffering from bipolar disorder and their loved ones meets monthly at 213 Stage Road, Unit 9, Hampstead, N.H. All meetings safe and confidential. Call Ron at 603-560-3682.

Londonderry diabetes support group meets the third Friday of the month from 10 to 11 a.m. at Londonderry Grange Hall. Call 800-540-2981.

Overcomers, a Christian program based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous, meets at New Creation Healing Center in Plaistow on Thursdays, 7 p.m. Program helps those struggling with alcoholism as well as addictions to food, gambling, spending, drugs or work, and other compulsive behaviors. Call Judy Howell at 978-257-0382.

Salem multiple sclerosis support group meets the third Thursday of every month at Northeast Rehab Center in Salem, N.H. Call Mary Larcome at 603-362-5197.

Nashua-Windham CHADD holds monthly meetings at Windham Presbyterian Church on Route 111. CHADD is a nationwide network of support groups for adults and children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month. Call 603-880-4997.

Schizophrenics Anonymous support group meets Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Holy Family Hospital in Room 1 of the subground level, Methuen. Contact Patty Blankenship in the Behavioral Health Department.


Alzheimer's caregiver support group meets second Thursday of each month, 4 to 6 p.m. at Prescott House in North Andover. For information, call Marie Sherman, LCSW, at 978-685-8086, ext. 551.

Caregiver support group will meet third Thursday each month from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Dracut Council on Aging, 951 Mammouth Road, Dracut. For information call Lucille Bonanno at 978-372-4211 or e-mail lbonanno@beaconhospice.com.

Alzheimer and dementia family support group meets at Marguerite's House Assisted Living, 189 Maple St., Lawrence, every third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend. For information, call Kathy or Debbie at 978-620-1492.

Caregiver support group meets second and fourth Wednesday in the Merrimack Valley Hospital atrium from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and on the third Tuesday of every month from 2 to 3 p.m. Provides support for people who are caring for an aging or chronically ill loved one. Offered in collaboration with the Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley. For information, call Janice Hrenko at 1-800-892-0890.

Caregiver support group meets at Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital, 76 Summer St., Haverhill, on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Information, 800-892-0890, ext. 321 or 978-725-5995.

Nutfield caregiver support group meets the second Tuesday of each month at Londonderry Senior Center, 535 Mammoth Road, from 4 to 5 p.m. Call Stacy Thrall at 603-425-1770.

Caregiver support at Salem Ingram Senior Center in Salem, N.H., first Wednesday of each month from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Volunteers available to offer a nonmedical, watchful eye over care receiver during meeting. Sponsored by the Senior Center, Life Coping, Rockingham County ServiceLink and Silverthorne Adult Day Center.

Alzheimer's support group meets second Tuesday of the month from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Nevins Alzheimer's Family Care Center, 12 Ingalls Court, Methuen. Free respite provided. For information, call Julie Blanchard at 978-682-3582.


WE CARE cancer support group meets the first and third Tuesday of every month in the Merrimack Valley Hospital atrium from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Offers support for cancer patients, their family and friends. For information, call Kim Snow at 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 Raelene at 978-388-9655.

Parkland Medical Center hosts support group for women coping with all types of cancer. Free meetings held every third Friday from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in Suite 102 of the Nutfield Professional Building, 44 Birch St., Derry. For information or to register, call Barbara Umansky at 603-421-2347.

Cancer support meetings at Granite State Baptist Church, 1 Sand Hill Road, Salem, N.H., on the first and third Monday of each month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Although the group is a Christ-centered organization, it welcomes everyone regardless of belief. Reservations are not required. Open to anyone who has experienced cancer, to cancer family members and to caregivers. For information, call Ron or Carol Demers at 603-893-4065, ext. 80 or e-mail cancersupport@comcast.net.

To list a support group, e-mail information to Betsy Curry at bcurry@eagletribune.com; fax it to 978-687-6045; or mail it to The Eagle-Tribune, c/o Betsy Curry, 100 Turnpike St., North Andover, MA 01845.