Welcome to DBSA Greater Hartford, an independent affiliate of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance! We are led by and created for peers—individuals living with mood disorders—and that experience informs everything that we do. Another distinction of peers is that we are not physicians or other type of mental healthcare provider. Being peer-run makes our tagline, “We’ve been there, we can help,” a reality. Our mission is to provide hope, help, support, and education to improve the lives of people who live with mood disorders.
My name is _____________, and I will be facilitating tonight’s meeting. I am here as a volunteer and a person with a mood disorder. This is our group, and I am not here as the person with all the answers. My role is to simply keep our discussion on track and to help maintain a productive environment. To do that, I may occasionally ask a question, make a comment, or help move discussion along.
This support group of DBSA Greater Hartford is a gathering of peers who assist, encourage, and enable each other in helping themselves. Each participant follows their own unique path to wellness and chooses to make that journey in the company of others headed in the same direction. Our meetings are designed to give everyone an opportunity to participate as they are comfortable. After reading our group guidelines, we will begin the
meeting with a brief check-in. After the check-in, we will have an open discussion about our mood disorders and share experiences, personal feelings, and strategies for living successfully with these conditions. After that, we will have a closing activity to help us leave committed to action and will finish at [time]. Before we begin to talk with each other, we will review the guidelines for our discussion. We read the guidelines before each meeting to remind us that we are all responsible for following and committing to the group standards, which are in place to keep this group a safe place to share. Would anyone like to volunteer to read the guidelines?
Share the air
Everyone who wishes to share has an opportunity to do so. No one person should monopolize the group time.
One person speaks at a time
Each person should be allowed to speak without interruption or side conversations.
What is said here stays here
This is the essential principle of confidentiality; it must be respected by everyone.
Differences of opinion are o.k.
We are all entitled to our own point of view.
We are all equal
We accept cultural, linguistic, social, racial, and all other differences and we promote their acceptance.
Use “I” language
Because we don’t participate in discussion groups as credentialed professionals, we can’t instruct. We can, however, share from our own personal experiences. For example, instead of saying “you should do X,” say “when I was faced with a similar problem, I . . .” We should always frame our comments in the context of our own experiences.
It’s o.k. not to share
People don’t have to share if they don’t want to.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to make the discussion groups a safe place to share
We respect confidentiality, treat each other with respect and kindness, and show compassion.