DBSA South Bay Meeting Guidelines

                                      “We’ve been there.  We can help.”

The mission of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is to provide hope and support to help improve the lives of people living with mood disorders.  One way this is accomplished is through DBSA group meetings.  These meetings provide peer-based, recovery-oriented support and resources. 

For this group to be effective, we follow these guidelines:

1) Everyone who wishes to share will have the opportunity to do so.  If you don’t want to, that’s OK.  Much can be gained by listening.  Sharing what you are going through and how you are feeling is an important aspect of DBSA meetings.  Limit your sharing to about 5 minutes.  At the end of the meeting there maybe additional time to share.

2) One person shares at a time.  Each person should be allowed to talk without interruption or side conversations.  If you have something to say, wait until the person is done sharing.  No one should monopolize the group.

3) Confidentiality is an essential part of feeling safe in order to talk about feelings and experiences related to our mood disorders.  It must be respected.

4) Remember, we are here to support one another.  Because we do not participate in this group as mental health professionals, no one should instruct or direct anyone.  Don’t ask personal or probing questions.  We, however, can share our own experiences.  For example say, “When I was faced with that problem, I did this, instead of you should do this."

5) Differences of opinion are acceptable.  Each person is entitled to his or her point of view.  Treat each other with respect, kindness, empathy and compassion.

6) Refrain from discussing religion, politics or other groups such as 12-step programs.  Don’t use profanity.

7) Meetings begin promptly at 10 AM on Saturdays / 6:30 PM on Thursdays.  And, please turn off your cell phone.