In-Person Support Groups are suspended due to Covid


Please contact Emily Smith, Executive Director with questions: 618-624-5771 x1
“After joining the family support group, I was overwhelmed that so many in our area are struggling to cope with mental illness. I don’t know what we would have done without your objective advice and the blessing of being able to hear the experiences of others in similar situations.”

-Kay Zollner, O’Fallon, IL.

The Karla Smith Behavioral Health (KSBH) support groups offer the opportunity to share openly and learn from other family members and friends who experience similar situations.


A commitment to attend a certain number of meetings is not required. Attend once, twice, every meeting – as you are comfortable. We are here to help. Whether you attend one or multiple meetings, we have accomplished our mission if you have learned, felt supported, and you know that you are not alone. Through our experiences, we have seen how a network of supportive group members can be a helpful aide when coping with suicide grief or mental health problems of your loved one.



Our Mental Health Support Groups focus on KSBH’s nine strategies for coping with the mental health problems of your loved one. Each meeting begins with introductions and short “check-in,” then we focus on one of the strategies. Cross-talking, sharing, and responding are welcomed and helpful throughout the meeting.

Our Suicide Survivor Meetings refer to common Grief Emotions to help identify your current feelings about the loss of your loved one. KSBH believes that sharing, discussing, listening, and talking about your loved one helps in coping with your loss.

KSBH knows that attending a support group for the first time might seem intimidating. No one is forced to speak or share – often people come to listen and understand. We welcome this. Through experience, we have learned that often a collective head-nod from the group members goes a long way towards easing anxiety and knowing you are not alone. We always welcome new members to join our support groups.

KSBH is a non-denominational organization and welcomes any person regardless of religious or non-religious preference. We do however close each KSBH support group meeting with Karla’s version of the Serenity Prayer. A year before she died, Karla added the second verse to the widely-known prayer and prayed it daily. KSBH believes strongly in Karla’s message for hope and peace through this prayer.

We kindly request the consumer (the individual with the mental health problem) does not attend our family support groups. Please contact KSBH and we will help you find a support group for the consumer.