Student Success Resources

Personal Support Systems

Personal Support Network

No one can do it alone. We aren’t meant to. We are designed to be in relationships, and it is these relationships which will give us the courage and strength to forge ahead in our lives. Support can come in many ways. Personal supports come in the personal relationships in our lives through family, friends, and connections.

A group of women-friends chatting and hanging out by the lake
Spending quality time with good friends contributes to personal wellness.

As well as personal supports, your support network should also include your community.  Community is the group of people you associate with. It could be a group of people in the place you live (your neighbourhood) or at work, or a group of people you associate with through an activity. It could be a sports team, a club, a volunteer group, a church, or a parents’ group. It could be an exercise group, or a pottery club,  or a music group. We all cherish a sense of belonging. Having a community of support for various aspects of our lives is meaningful. When you make the decision to go to college or university, you may be surprised by those within these communities who step up and show support. Note who they are. They may become invaluable supporters as you go through school.


A woman's soccer team posing for a picture
This team provides physical support on the field and emotional support and encouragement off the field.

Author’s Story

This women’s soccer team is an incredible group of women. They are competitive and love to work hard on the field. They love the exercise, the outdoors, the travelling, and meeting new players. But above all, this soccer team values the time spent together with each other, people they care about and can relate to. This group of women supports each other and often say they keep playing because of the friendship amongst the team members.

— Mary Shier, author of this textbook

Exercise: Identify Your Personal Support Network

Make a list of the people in your life you can trust and rely on. Add to the list any groups that have become important to you. This forms your personal support network. It is important to identify and remind yourself of your support network at times when you need it most.

Community Resources

Besides natural communities, there are organized formal support groups which can target issues in our lives. Alcohol and drug counselling, addictions support groups, weight control groups, cancer support groups, or mental health groups all bring together people with similar issues. Some support resources that exist in many communities include: crisis hot lines, counselling, women’s centres, employment centres, food banks, and many more.

Exercise: Community Supports

Research the community supports in your own community and note any resources that might be useful to you. Add these community resources as potential supports to your personal support network list above.

Text Attributions


Foundations for Success in Nursing: Manual Copyright © 2021 by Sarah Malo and Maggie Convey. All Rights Reserved.

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