The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Boston (DBSA-Boston) strives to help its members live healthy and dignified lives. We do so by providing a safe and secure setting for people to share from their own experiences and to care for others as they in turn share from their own experiences. We also believe that knowledge of biologically based illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder empowers members to better manage living with psychiatric illnesses. We provide twice-monthly nationally and internationally renowned speakers speaking on a wide range of subjects germain to mood disorders. We often invite those who have a diagnosis to share their story and their successes in managing their illnesses. Many of the consumers who speak are recognized authors and highly functioning individuals. These people serve as positive paradigms for those who struggle to maintain a foothold in mood stability.
We offer between seventy and eighty support groups every month serving the needs of more than 900 people each and every month. We boast a membership of over 300 and we typically have 125-150 attend our Wednesday evening meetings which are held on the grounds of McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA. If our Wednesday evening meetings were likened to a mall, we would have three anchor stores: Depression group; Mania and Bipolar Issues group; and Family and Friends group. The attached brochure will enumerate all of our illness – and theme -specific groups held on Wednesday evening. In addition, we offer several weekly daytime drop-in groups as well as a once-weekly evening meeting on the campus of Massachusetts General Hospital.
We are all volunteers. No one, no matter how much time and effort one may expend at DBSA-Boston, is compensated for their efforts. A number of us have numerous speaking engagements on college campuses, healthcare facilities, and conferences. Some of us run several inpatient groups at McLean Hospital introducing inpatients to the benefits of participating in peer support groups. We are convinced that participation in peer-led support groups forms an essential element in formulating a wellness strategy.
We are a donation-membership-driven non-profit organization. Since we have remarkably minimal overhead expenses, nearly all of our funds are earmarked for the direct benefit and enjoyment of our members.