Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are new people welcome to join the support group?
Yes, we have new people come nearly every week! Chances are you will be one of several new participants to attend the group meeting.
Q. What ages attend the group?
This group is meant for mature teens and adults. Teens may also find support online through the DBSA Young Adult web page.
Q. Do I need to register in advance?
No, but we ask that you arrive on time for the meeting. You will have the opportunity to sign-in with your name and email address to receive weekly announcements and meeting announcements.
Q. What does it cost to attend?
While there is no charge to attend the meeting, we request a donation of at least $5.00 per person to cover our costs for meeting space, resource materials, and other expenses. You may donate cash at the meeting or use your credit card or debit card to donate online. All donations are tax-deductible.
Q. Can I bring a friend or family member?
Yes, supportive friends and family members are welcome! We also offer a separate Friends & Family group that meets the second Thursday of the month.
Q. How are support group meetings conducted?
First, we gather as a large group, introduce ourselves, and read the Group Guidelines aloud – which include confidentiality and avoiding inappropriate language. Next, we break into smaller groups to share.
We usually have a theme of the week to help stimulate discussion. You may respond to the suggested theme or talk about something else – such as sharing any struggles (or victories!) of your week.
We emphasize focusing on the present, rather than the past and what brought us to this place. Everyone is welcome to share, but not obligated to share. Others may respond to what someone else shares, especially to give encouragement. We do not “counsel” each other or give advice; but we do share opinions or our own experiences in response.
Yes, everyone is encouraged to share, learn from others, and be in a supportive environment. We might ask you whether you would like to share, but it is always fine to say “not tonight.”
Yes. Everything said in the group must be kept in confidence. By your attendance, you are agreeing to the confidentiality statement (read aloud before each meeting), which states: “It’s everyone’s responsibility to make the discussion groups a safe place to share. Respect confidentiality, treat each other with respect and kindness, and show compassion.”
Q. Are there any medical professionals leading the group?
No, one of the strengths of our groups is that they are led by peers – others who live with bipolar/depression/anxiety. At times, we do host guest speakers who are professionals in their fields – a psychiatrist, a counselor, a pharmacist, a lawyer, etc. Watch our online calendar for announcements about special guests.
Q. Are donations to the local DBSA tax-deductible?
Yes, donations made to support our local DBSA efforts to educate others on the issues of bipolar/depression in the community are tax deductible. Donate Now.
Q. I’m not sure if I have depression or bipolar. Is this the right place for me?
Come and find out! You don’t need to have a professional diagnosis to attend. If you think you would benefit from the support of others who deal with bipolar/depression/anxiety, this group may be helpful for you.
Q. What if I am not able to attend a group in your area because of distance or time?
Q. Can you recommend a psychiatrist, therapist, or community resource?
We have many community resources available on this website here as well as brochures and flyers available at the meetings. In addition, you may ask individuals in the group if they would recommend a psychiatrist or therapist; but as an organization, we do not endorse specific professionals.