SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– COVID-19 is forcing many groups and businesses to move their meetings online.

Here in Springfield, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Alcoholics Anonymous are using the video conference app “zoom” to host meetings.

Randall, Alcoholics Anonymous member, says, “I know a lot of people use AA as their main cornerstone of their recovery. I’m very grateful for the fact that they are around, and people can still get the fellowship that I think is very instrumental in people’s recovery.”

Randall has been an AA member for two years, and he says zoom chats usually last about an hour.

He couldn’t imagine what things that be like without the zoom meetings, nor does he want to.

From one non-profit to another, NAMI has covered topics like anxiety and depression in its online discussions. Since March 18, it has served more than 100 people on zoom.

Hope Center Director Addie Blankenship says her most impactful meeting was Monday, March 30, 2020.

Addie Blankenship, NAMI Hope Center Director, says, “the message we got out of it was it’s okay not to be okay because we are in this together. And it’s okay to struggle, but we’re going to get through it. And it was a feeling of support and connection that we hadn’t felt in a long time.”

Through zoom, Randall has connected with other AA members around the world. He says it’s been rewarding to learn from other people in recovery.