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Part of life is experiencing ups and downs.  Having a support system has many positive benefits, such as higher levels of well-being, better coping skills and a longer and healthier life. Giving and receiving support from others is a basic human need.  The goal of social support is to decrease stress. If you are looking to decrease stress by developing a support network, start with people who are already in your life. You may want to make a list and determine who is healthy and positive and who is not. You may want to limit contact with the negative people in your life.

Support can come from family, friends, pets, neighbors and clergy. Support can be emotional or financial. Support can come from a mental health professional. There are also support groups that provide education and an opportunity to be with others who are experiencing a similar situation.