support

You Are Not Alone.

Finding support for your mental health is an important step on the road to wellness. So, why attend a DBSA support group?  They provide the kind of sharing and caring that is crucial for a lifetime of wellness.  Group members focus on mutual aid strategies for living the fullest life possible.  Members continually provide hope, reassurance and encouragement to one another.  DBSA support group participants say that their groups:

  • Provide a safe and welcoming forum for mutual acceptance, understanding, and self-discovery.  Members make the group a safe place by fostering a supportive, trustworthy, respectful, non-judgmental atmosphere.
  • Give them the opportunity to reach out to others and benefit from the experience of those who have been there.  Each meeting is facilitated by someone with depression or bipolar disorder or a family member.
  • Motivate them to follow their wellness plans.
  • Help them understand that mood disorders do not define who they are.
  • Help them rediscover strengths and humor they may have thought they had lost.

Group attendance is a valuable supplement to professional care (whether that care includes medication, talk therapy, or other treatment methods) but is not a substitute for it.  Group members do not seek to diagnose one another, and DBSA and its support groups do not endorse or recommend the use of any specific treatments or medications.  Each individual should work with his or her own health care professional(s) to determine the best treatment plan.

Although some meetings feature guest speakers or special lectures, DBSA is a “share/care” meeting.  Everyone is encouraged to share, if they wish.


What benefits come from DBSA support groups? How do they help maintain better mental health?

  • People who have been attending DBSA group meetings for more than a  year are less likely to have been hospitalized in the past 12 months.
  • The longer people had attended a DBSA group, the less likely they were to have stopped medication against medical advice, and the fewer barriers to following their treatment plan they experienced.
  • More than half of the people who were not following their treatment plans when they began attending their DBSA groups became more motivated to do so over time with continued group attendance.
Identified Benefits & Number of survey participants benefiting to some or great extent:

Provide interpersonal support —- 98.2%
Help to cope with problems and crises —- 96.7%
Help to make better decisions —- 95.1%
Help to understand medications and treatment —- 93.7%

* The above results are based on a DBSA support group survey of over 2,049 people from 190 cities in 38 states and the District of Columbia.


At a DBSA Meeting You Will Find:

  • Free Meetings
  • Peer Led
  • Share Ideas
  • Family Support
  • Veteran Support
  • Free Literature
  • Depression Support
  • Bipolar Support
  • Understanding

How can I find a DBSA support group?

Visit the national website

At www.DBSAlliance.org, you can browse a listing of support groups by state or search by zip code.  For a listing of support available in West Virginia, click here.

If you are interested in starting a DBSA Chapter in your area of WV, would like more information on mood disorders, would like to arrange for a speaker to come to your church or organization, or would like to make a donation, contact Diana Thompson at dianathompson222@hotmail.com or call 304-472-1947.

Online Support

DBSA offers live, real-time support group meetings on the Internet for people living with mood disorders, their friends and family.  Online support is ideal for those who live too far from their local DBSA group, have limited mobility, or simply wish to remain anonymous.  Led by volunteer peer facilitators, these meetings follow the same format and guidelines as DBSA’s in-person support groups.  Each group meets once a week, and consumers and loved ones may attend as many sessions as they’d like.  Registration is required, but at no charge.  To learn more or register, visit www.DBSAlliance.org/OSG.