Former Surgeon General Koop has noted that "My years as a medical
practitioner, as well as my own first-hand experience, has taught me how
important self-help groups are in assisting their members in dealing with
problems, stress, hardship and pain... Today, the benefits of mutual aid
experienced by millions of people who turn to others with a similar problem
to attempt to deal with their isolation, powerlessness, alienation, and the
awful feeling that nobody understands." - former Surgeon General Koop
(in the book, Self-Help: Concepts and Applications, edited by A. Katz, et.
al,Charles Press, 1992).
"Mutual help groups are a powerful and constructive means for people to help
themselves and each other. The basic dignity of each human being is expressed
in his or her capacity to be involved in a reciprocal helping exchange. Out
of this compassion comes cooperation. From this cooperation comes community."
- Phyllis Silverman, PhD, Dept of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, from
Introduction to the "Self-Help Sourcebook," 1995, p. 24.
"These groups make significant contributions to positive outcomes for persons
affected by mental & behavioral disorders." - from "Healthy People 2000:
National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives" (1991) report
issued by U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, setting the establishment of
self-help clearinghouses in 25 states as one of the official national health
objectives for the year 2000.
"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can
seriously help another without helping himself." - Charles Dudley Warner,
1873, American essayist, editor, novelist
The future of health care in these troubled times requires cooperation
between organized medicine and self-help groups to achieve the best care for
the lowest cost" - former Surgeon General Koop, (in the book "Self-Help:
Concepts and Applications" edited by A. Katz, et. al, Charles Press, 1992).
In an interview (in NJ Monthly, January, 1992, p. 32), national pollster
George Gallup commented upon the despondency and apprehension that many
Americans felt in the face of the problems of the economy, crime, drugs, and
education. When asked if all the future trends were doom and gloom, he
concluded the the interview by answering: "Not at all.... there is a
widespread tendency among Americans to get together in small groups - support
groups, self-help groups, groups of all kinds, really. In our fragmented
society, where loneliness and isolation are so prevalent, it is encouraging
to see so many people reaching out to each other. It's a very hopeful sign
for the future."