Support groups: You're not alone

UW Health organizes or helps to facilitate a number of support groups to help our patients and their families and friends learn the best ways to meet their health challenges.


Find support, understanding and encouragement

Support groups can provide support, understanding and encouragement, allowing you to talk with and listen to other patients and family members who are having similar life experiences due to challenging medical situations.

Please note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the following support groups are temporarily paused or have changed to a virtual format. Please check with the group contact for additional information.

Cancer support groups

Find support at all stages of your cancer journey

Many cancer support groups are offered by local organizations. Please contact the organizers for questions and to verify meeting time.

This group is for anyone with a breast cancer diagnosis or who has completed treatment. All stages and supporters welcome.

Virtual Breast Cancer Support Group
This group is for anyone with a breast cancer diagnosis or who has completed treatment. All stages and supporters welcome.

Support group for people with a GI cancer diagnosis and their supporters. This includes cancers of the esophagus, pancreas, stomach, colon, rectum, anus, liver, biliary system and small intestine.

This support group provides mutual support and information for people with recurrent and metastatic cancer. The group is facilitated by a licensed mental health professional. Discussion is focused on current issues faced by people with recurrent and metastatic cancer.

  • Location: Virtual

  • Meetings: 4th Wednesday of the month, 5–6:30 p.m.

  • Information: or call (608) 828-8880

Monthly gathering for those who have completed treatment, 2 weeks to 2 years ago. There will be discussions and presentations focusing on your survivorship and its challenges.

This group allows patients and their loved ones an opportunity to come together and exchange information, comfort each other and offer support.

  • Location: We are currently hosting virtual meetings.

  • Meetings: 3rd Tuesday of the month, 3:30-5:30 p.m. CST

  • Information: Contact Jayne Schwartz at or (608) 244-2120 for a Zoom meeting invitation.

A support group for thyroid cancer survivors, family members and friends. We share information, experiences and coping strategies.

Other support groups

Find a group

In Wisconsin

These sessions are a way for affected patients, families and friends to connect with others to help each other live their best lives. Open and honest discussions about recovery issues, roadblocks and solutions are the goal. Staff hosted by UnityPoint-Meriter and UW Health will be there to facilitate and answer questions, but the group belongs to the participants.

Find meeting information and details

In a safe, supportive atmosphere from the comfort of your home, review mind-body skills for working with digestive health concerns in this virtual support group.

Learn how to join

This group provides an open forum for discussion on spinal cord injury, disease and paralysis topics including wheelchair activities and accessibility issues; provides mentoring and awareness; and offers adaptive and accessible events and activities for the individual and family.

The Madison Area Ostomy Support Group provides a safe environment for individuals to share information and provide support for those needing an ostomy, those with a previously place ostomy and their caregivers.

These free sessions are facilitated by a registered nurse certified in ostomy and wound care and include a discussion topic and open forum. Topics are varied and range from nutrition and health care to available resources and a review of ostomy products. Participants are encouraged to share the challenges and opportunities that living with an ostomy presents.

  • Location: UW Health Digestive Health Center, Auditorium - Room 106

  • Dates:

    • 2023: July 18, September 19, November 21

    • 2024: January 16, March 19, May 21, July 16, September 17, November 19

  • Time: 6–7:30 p.m.

  • Cost: Free, no pre-registration required

For more information regarding the support group, please email Please contact your health care provider for specific questions related to your health care.

For young onset Parkinson's patients 40 years and younger, their families and care support to gain information on Parkinson's disease through education and support from others.

The Madison Area Network of Amputees (MANA) is a resource for education, support and activities that uses both virtual and in-person meetings to unite people who are at various stages of their limb loss journey so that they can share ideas, frustrations and triumphs.

We are primarily holding in-person meetings, which might vary from planned activities (i.e., trap shooting, golf driving range, boating) or just meeting at a coffee house to check in. Those who participate have the ability to help determine future topics and activities that are most pertinent and interesting to them.

Meetings typically occur the second Sunday of every month. If you are interested in learning more or would like to join the MANA community, please email Katie Lamprey at to be added to the email list.

In Illinois

This group brings together breastfeeding moms and their babies to discuss many topics related to breastfeeding. Led by a board-certified lactation consultant, you will have the chance to ask questions and have access to an infant scale for weight assessment.

  • Date/time: Every Tuesday, 2-3:30 p.m.

  • Location: UW Health Women and Children's Hospital, 1350 Charles St., Rockford, IL 61104, Room WCH 3, 1st floor

  • Information: Call the Lactation Office at (779) 696-4890 to speak with a lactation consultant

  • Registration: No registration is necessary, just show up to join the group