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Support Group Descriptions

DBSA Boston Support Groups

Note: All meetings as of 3/25/2020 are on Zoom. On Thursday nights a Drop-In Group meets on Zoom in addition to an in-person meeting in Boston – more info. Please visit: DBSA Boston and DBSA MGH Zoom Meetings Schedule

DBSA Boston offers a variety of support groups for people with affective disorders as well as their family and friends. Our groups are support groups, not therapy groups, that allow our members to share feelings, experiences, and strategies for coping with our illnesses. Groups are facilitated by DBSA members who receive ongoing training in group leadership.

Note: Observers are not allowed in any DBSA Support group as the information that is shared in groups is confidential. You must be a peer or a family or friend of someone diagnosed with a mood disorder in order to attend one of our Support groups. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please email Mary@DBSABoston.org.

For the latest support groups schedule visit DBSA Boston Online Meetings and In-Person Meetings

Support group attendees must be willing to adhere to the DBSA Boston Support Group Guidelines.

The following support groups are currently offered:

Please note that all the following groups (except for the daytime drop-in, Dual Diagnosis, Senior Strength, and Women’s groups) are held on Wednesday from 7-9 pm on Zoom.

    DBSA Boston Support Groups

    Daytime Drop-In

    DBSA Boston offers daytime drop-in groups on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in addition to our Wednesday night meetings. Most of the two-hour meeting is spent discussing how individuals are coping with life and offering suggestions on where to get help and resources. Meets from 1:30 – 3:30 PM on Zoom. Family and friends of those with Mood Disorders are also welcome to attend these groups.


    The Depression group provides an opportunity for members to share feelings and experiences regarding living with depression with others who have had similar experiences in their own lives. This group typically contains a mix of unipolar and bipolar people who are dealing with depression and the effect it has on the people in our lives. The group helps everyone remember that depression is generally not a permanent way of life and to recognize the great strength and resilience of people with mood disorders. Meets weekly.

    Dual Diagnosis

    This group deals with the “double trouble” of having either a bipolar or depressive illness and substance abuse or alcohol problem at the same time. Substance use or abuse may or may not be current. Even those who attend AA regularly find special support from those who can share the understanding of the need to treat both illnesses simultaneously to achieve wellness. Meets weekly.

    Family and Friends

    People with the illness are not the only ones affected. Friends and family need support as well. This special group gives friends and family members a chance to share with others going through the same experience of having someone close to them become ill. This is one of our largest attended groups and friends and family members facilitate the group. Meets weekly.


    This DBSA Boston support group is a place where members who have a mood disorder and identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, or other identities can come and discuss topics specific to our unique identities and mental health. Allies are welcome to attend. (Not running right now, as of August 2022)

    Maintaining Connections

    This group is a place for individuals who have learned about and worked through various stages of their illness. Participants share coping skills, treatment strategies, and suggestions for ongoing health. These ideas are designed to prevent relapse and to return individual members to an optimum level of functioning. Recent topics include relationships (accepting broken ones and establishing new ones), careers (addressing return-to-work issues), and treatment issues (cognitive therapy, medication management, working with a therapist, alternative medicine, enlisting spiritual support). This group is for those who are not currently symptomatic and therefore not suitable for those who are currently in partial hospitalization or who are currently inpatient program. Meets weekly.

    Mania and Bipolar

    Mania is a difficult topic because it covers a unique range of emotions and experiences. Participants learn to appreciate this range through honest and voluntary sharing and humor. The tug between the energy of hypomania and the containment of medication serves as one of many topics. The ultimate goal – to stay out of the hospital and lead a productive life – provides the underlying theme for group discussions. Meets weekly.


    The group for newcomers is a must for DBSA first-timers and anyone interested in reacquainting themselves with all that DBSA offers. All DBSA Boston newcomers, including family and friends, are encouraged to attend. As the DBSA orientation group, Newcomers focuses on providing information on the DBSA organization as a whole, as well as the range of share-care groups, lectures, and other events, resources, and services that form the core of DBSA Boston. Newcomers’ meetings usually conclude with a share-care session that is typical of other DBSA Boston groups. Meets weekly.

    Open Exchange

    Group provides an ideal opportunity for people with mood disorders to meet and talk with people from our Family and Friends group. By sharing our different perspectives and life issues, we foster awareness and empathy and help each other understand how we cope with our respective experiences. It can be very helpful for friends and family members to hear stories from unrelated people who live with depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental illnesses. People with mental illness may benefit from the objectivity of friends and family who are not engaged in their daily lives. Please note that although Open Exchange is a good group for exchanging feedback and support between family, friends, and people with a mood disorder, it not a family therapy group, and family members are discouraged from attending the group at the same time. Meets every Wednesday in-person in Waltham.

    Senior Strength

    This is a group for those 55+ which provides advocacy, education, support, and awareness so that all people affected by mental health conditions can build better lives. They offer insights that provide support in the roles that matter to all of us. They share how mental health impacts our lives, explore warning signs and describe what kinds of habits and changes support mental health. Meets every Tuesday from 11:30 AM to 1 PM on Zoom.


    This is a group for veterans to discuss veteran/military/combat-related issues affecting their bipolar disorder and depression. (Not running right now, as of March 2020)

    Women’s Group

    The Women’s group provides a haven for women who feel more comfortable participating in share-care sessions made up of women only. The female-only environment is often conducive to the discussion of topics specific to women, but a wide range of subjects may be covered depending on the group’s needs and interests. Meets every Tuesday from 1:30 to 3:30 PM on Zoom.

    Working and Coping Group

    The Working & Coping group, restarted in April 2023, provides an opportunity for members to share feelings and experiences about job hunting and working (in volunteer, per diem, or part- and full-time positions). Topics include but are not limited to work-life balance, disclosure issues, handling setbacks, and sustaining confidence and self-worth in job hunting and in the workplace. Meets monthly on third Mondays from 7-9 PM on Zoom (with the exception of some holidays to be announced).

    Young Adults (millennials and under/must be at least 18 years old)

    This group provides a safe place for young adults to share feelings about age-related issues. Jobs, relationships, stigma, and fitting in socially are common themes in the Young Adults group. Sometimes there is controversy about where we stand in society. There is often laughter and we tend to show up expecting an exciting event. There is an environment of acceptance and openness and hopefully, people leave feeling that there is nothing to be ashamed of or feel bad about regarding their illness. Meets weekly.

    All groups apart from Family and Friends, and Open Exchange are open to peers only.