DBSA Support Groups | Values and Benefits
Peers may share experiences, personal feelings, information, and strategies for living successfully with mood disorders at the support group meeting. DBSA Rock Hill promotes six key values.
1. Self-Help Focus
The DBSA self-help process is based on certain assumptions:
Peers have the right to make individual choices.
Encouragement to explore options and offered resources.
Acknowledging the value of every peer in the group process.
Discussion at the support group meeting is facilitated by a group participant. The group facilitator is not a mental health provider. The facilitator's role is to guide the group's discussion, focus, and to ensure that the group’s guidelines are followed.
3. Safe and Accepting Environment
Members of the support group create a supportive, trusting, respectful, non-judgmental, and nurturing environment by respecting the individual peer's decisions made during mental health recovery.
"What we say here stays here.” No one may publicly reveal information about anyone who attends the meeting. The sole exception to this policy is the duty to warn authorities during a crisis intervention when a person expresses either a suicidal or homicidal intent. Participants are not required to be members or provide personal contact information if they do not wish to do so. DBSA and its affiliated chapters and support groups never make public or sell/rent group membership or participant lists.
5. Regular Meetings
The group determines how often, when, and where it meets. It is suggested that support groups meet at least once every month; most groups meet weekly or twice monthly.
6. Free of Charge
DBSA support groups must hold meetings that are open to the public and free of charge. No fee is required to attend. Groups may request optional donations to defray the costs of chapter re-affiliation and purchase of educational materials. Optional donations may also be collected to defray the cost of refreshments or advertising costs to create public awareness about the meeting.
The BENEFIT of DBSA Support Groups
With a grassroots network of over 1000 DBSA support groups, no one with depression or bipolar disorder needs to feel alone or ashamed. DBSA may offer one or more support groups in your community. Each group has a professional advisor and appointed facilitators. Members are people living with depression or bipolar disorder and their loved ones. DBSA support groups provide group and individual benefits needed to promote a lifetime of wellness. DBSA Rock Hill values the activity of sharing individual experiences intended for a safe and caring environment intended to benefit everyone. Specific benefits include:
helping peers stay consistent with prescribed treatment plans and prevent relapse needing hospitalization;
providing a forum for mutual acceptance, understanding and self-discovery;
helping peers understand that having depression or bipolar disorder does not define who they are as people;
giving peers the opportunity to learn from the wisdom (life experiences) of others who have “been there”;
engaging with a community of peers who value mutual acceptance, empathy and sympathy;
receiving positive motivation to continue activities promoting overall wellness;
re-programming self-talk so that individual peers perceive themselves as people and not victims. (e.g. - "I am person who experiences symptoms identified as Bipolar Disorder" instead of "I suffer from Bipolar.");
rediscovering hidden strengths, talents, and resiliency thought to be lost;
self-discovering new strengths and talents; and,
giving and receiving mutual acceptance, understanding, and self-discovery.
Support groups are not a substitute for professional care. DBSA Rock Hill does not endorse or recommend the use of any specific treatment or medication. Peers can share their unique experiences with a treatment or medication but do not give "you should do" type of advice about specific treatment options or medications. It is the individual's responsibility to consult their physicians and/or mental health professionals for all medical advice.