Al-Anon Members’ Mental Health Improves as an Outcome of Continuous Membership
Clients and patients referred to Al‑Anon for peer support to aid their recovery from the effects of a relative or friend’s drinking can be reassured that the investment of their time is worthwhile. According to the Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.’s 2018 Al‑Anon Membership Survey 29% (3,824) of the total number of participants reported being diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Al‑Anon members were asked to assess their mental health since participating in our program. Results showed that 88.4% of the 12,973 Survey participants categorized their mental health as “improved” or “significantly improved.”
For the first time since 1984, the Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.’s triennial survey report correlates the members’ self‑assessment of their mental health with longevity of membership from less than one year and up to 40 plus years of ongoing participation in Al‑Anon.
Al‑Anon members typically encourage new attendees at meetings to “Keep Coming Back.” Our survey data illustrates a positive progression in feeling better mentally with consistent participation in Al‑Anon. The correlation between ongoing membership in Al‑Anon and the progression of members’ sense of improved mental health can be useful to clinicians’ referrals especially for clients and consumers who are resistant to our program or questioning the value of it.
Of 12,824 survey respondents, 93% of the members reported improvement in their emotional state and 75% significant improvement in their emotional state.
Al‑Anon’s Membership Survey’s evidence‑based data is also reinforced by the more than 8,000 participants who have provided statements about the benefits of being in Al‑Anon to their well‑being. A sample of their responses:
- Al‑Anon has helped me reclaim my life. I am becoming the person I want to be. I am learning to take care of myself, ask for help, and know that I matter.
- Since attending meetings on a regular basis and working the Twelve Steps with a Sponsor, my life has been completely transformed.
- I am filled with gratitude. I readily experience peace, and I approach each day with joy and curiosity.
Al‑Anon Family Groups are not meant as a replacement for professional services, but rather to complement those services. 78% of survey respondents also reported that they have sought professional treatment. Of those, 69% either started or continued treatment after joining the program. Furthermore, 42% of those that continued treatment after attending Al‑Anon meetings and who ranked their experience, indicated an improvement in their treatment since attending Al‑Anon.
A complete Al‑Anon Membership Survey Report and Summaries are available at Membership Survey