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Akron Area Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

Akron Area Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
Akron General Medical Center
400 Wabash Ave.
Akron OH 44307

The Akron Area Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) was established in 1991, with the support and sponsorship of Akron General Medical Center. Our chapter's mission is to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders. We also welcome family members to our support groups.

DBSA support groups provide the kind of caring and help that is important to lasting recovery from mood disorders. Members are people with depression or bipolar disorder and their loved ones. Our group has both a professional and medical advisor, as well as peer facilitators who guide the discussion at each meeting. Our support group is not a substitute for medical or psychiatric treatment, but serves as an important link in recovery.

Our group meets four times each month to serve the needs of the community. We have both evening and daytime groups to choose from, and we publish our yearly calendar for easy reference. There are no fees associated with this group, and people are welcome to join at any time.

For upcoming dates, visit the Mental Health section of Your Good Health Calendar.

If you have questions about the group or other hospital and community resources, please contact Claudia Cihlar, APRN, BC at 330.344.6475

Helpful Information about DBSA:

No, there is no cost associated with this support and education group hosted by Akron General Medical Center. Participants do not have to maintain any national, state or local membership dues. The annual affiliate chapter fees are provided by Akron General Medical Center.

We do not require registration prior to participating in this support group. When new participants attend, each is given a welcome packet that describes the mission and goals of the group, participation guidelines and educational information for patients and family members.

Family Participation
Adult family members and other support persons are welcome at all of our meetings. They may also participate even if you do not. There is no cost or registration necessary for your family to participate.

Overview of Group Sessions
Generally, each support group will begin with an introduction by the group advisor, welcoming everyone, especially new participants. Peer facilitators who have been trained by the group advisor will sometimes lead the group discussion. Sometimes, because we have many participants, participants are divided into smaller discussion groups. In that situation, participants may choose the group discussion according to their needs and interests. New participants are encouraged to sit back and observe during their first visit. Questions are always encouraged, and our veteran members are sensitive to making the experience comfortable and welcoming. We occasionally have guest speakers on topics of interest to the group.

Choose from Day or Evening Groups
We encourage participants to attend whatever number and combination of daytime and evening groups they wish to participate in. We offer groups at different times during the day to accommodate as many preferences as possible.

Length of Participation
We encourage participants to attend for as long as they feel a benefit. Your doctor and therapist will likely be supportive of your decision to be part of a community support group. Please inform them of your decision to participate. Sometimes, people choose not to participate for a while, then return sometime later.

How participation can benefit you
Most people who participate in support groups feel a positive benefit from talking with others who share similar concerns and feelings. Support groups provide information and opportunities to learn about how others manage the demands of illness more effectively. Being with others in a group also helps diminish feelings of isolation and loneliness. Support groups can provide similar benefits to family members as well.

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