SOURCE: WebTribes Inc.

April 29, 2008 08:00 ET

Can Social Networking Benefit Your Mental Health?

In Light of Mental Health Month, WebTribes Encourages Members to Get Connected and Discover the Benefits of Social Networking

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - April 29, 2008) - WebTribes (, the first and only network of online social networking support websites, founded summer 2006, has had a remarkable response from its members. With over 20,000 members and five unique websites (tribes) --,,,, and -- WebTribes is a top destination for people looking to connect online and find support from others also affected by life-consuming illnesses.

"Right from the start, the response from our members was very positive. Sharing stories, emotions and discovering that they are not alone in their challenges, has made a significant difference on their outlook on life, we are told," says Kristin FitzGerald, co-founder, WebTribes. Each tribe is designed with the latest in social networking functionality giving members the ability to express themselves through profile page design, blogging, forums, chat, tribe vibes and more.

Connecting with others isn't the only benefit tribe members are realizing. Many members are first time bloggers and are discovering it can be therapeutic. Blogging is a form of journal therapy and according to renowned therapist Kathleen Adams, "studies indicate that the release offered by writing has a direct impact on the body's capacity to withstand stress and fight off infection and disease." In conjunction with Mental Health Month, WebTribes is hosting a Tribe Blog Challenge encouraging its members to write 30 blogs in 30 days starting May 1st.

It's hard to say if social networking will have a positive impact long-term, but the feedback from WebTribes members has been overwhelming. "OCDTribe has been a real gem in my therapy; it provides a huge amount of advice and support. A lot of sufferers have never known anyone who truly understands them. OCDTribe is such an important website for OCD sufferers, it's hard to image life without it now," says member Billdoor79. Another member, Cheerfulrainstorm, goes on to say, "I never thought there could be anyone out there who felt like I did until I found DepressionTribe. I know this site has helped me, and many others in this world to find peace, support and common ground with one another."

WebTribes doesn't profess to be a substitute for professional therapy, but rather believes the tribes can be a good addition to therapy and for many, even encourage they seek professional help. "I have been a licensed therapist for 30 years and have seen many new forms of therapy introduced. I believe the dialogue and sense of community offered by WebTribes sites can be helpful for many people. For some, it may be a path to seeing a professional therapist. For others, especially those without economic means or in remote areas, it may be one of the few alternatives available. On the whole, the site offers many positive possibilities for individuals in these kinds of underserved communities." - Deborah Rogosin, M.F.T., Oxnard, CA.

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