At the heart of self help is the belief that given, the resources, information, skills and support – everybody has the capacity and right to manager their own lives in the way that suits them.

Each group is different, each formed around different issues and approaches. Some groups have a specific focus, while others take a much broader approach.

Groups are run by members, for members; where everyone are equals. Members can share both emotional and practical support, as well as information and experiences.

Often members attend meetings for different reasons, however everyone has something to share and something to gain.

Mutual Support

Self help groups run meetings and events where members can gain mutual understanding and support.

Meetings are friendly and relaxed, where members share common understandings and experiences with others who are also affected.


Self help groups allow members to access a relaxed forum to share information. Some groups also collect and maintain a library of the publications and resources relevant to their members.

Advocacy & Community Education

Some groups actively participate in a variety of advocacy and community education projects. Each group is different, however many aim to promote understanding, awareness and the needs of their members in wider society.


There are many self help network and alliances throughout Australia and the world. Alliances can provide self help groups with practical support and knowledge, as well as an opportunity to network and promote causes within a range of communities.

Looking to join a self help group?

If you are looking to join a self help group in the ACT region, SHOUT Inc operate a network and single access point for numerous groups. Links and information for our members can be access at our SHOUT member’s page or affiliates page.

Alternatively, you can contact SHOUT Inc directly, and we can help put you in touch with any of our member organizations.

SHOUT Inc, in conjunction with Citizens Advice Bureau ACT, publishes a directory of Self help and Support Groups in the ACT region. Please view our home page to view the directory online.

If you are looking for a group outside the ACT region, our networks page contains links and contact details for similar organizations to SHOUT Inc.

Looking to start a self help group?

There are many reasons why individuals look to start a self help group. Maybe you feel you can help people in a similar situation. Perhaps your needs are not being met by existing programs and services.

What ever your reason, a lot can be gained by seeking and promoting support throughout your community.

SHOUT can help starting and maintaining a group more effectively. By joining our network, you can access a great range of resources, services and community contacts to assist your group.

Please take a moment to review our about SHOUT Inc page, which lists the services and assistance available member organizations.