For the thousands of people who suffer from depression and bipolar, feelings of isolation, frustration and non-validation are common. Often those suffering from these disorders feel they’re either incapable or not allowed to discuss their struggles openly, which in turn can be a demoralizing obstacle to progress with treatment and recovery.

Support groups are proven to offer participants a sense of relief and comfort as they cope with challenges. According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), support groups are 94 percent effective in helping people maintain their treatment plans for the disorders. Now, patients and families living with mood disorders can benefit from a free support group held each Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Research Psychiatric Center. During the support group, patients and their families are encouraged to communicate openly about painful feelings in a non-judgmental setting.

Since 1985, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) has offered individuals nationwide who suffer from depressive and bipolar disorder an opportunity to attend support groups. Individuals who have been in treatment for depression and bipolar disorders facilitate DBSA groups. The groups provide participants an opportunity to discover experientially that they are not alone. Coping strategies and skills are shared, in addition to current research on depression and bipolar illnesses and treatment methods.

For more information on the weekly DBSA support group held at Research Psychiatric Center, call Peggy Cunningham, director of therapeutic services at Research Psychiatric Center at (816) 235-8133 or Research Psychiatric Center at (816) 235-8162.