I am in a crisis or trying to help someone in a crisis?
As a support group we’re more appropriate for once the crisis has passed or for heading one off before you get there. We recommend contacting the Crisis Clinic (link also in the sidebar of every page) or the 24-Hr Crisis Line: 866-427-4747
We’ve been there and we’re rooting for you.
How many times a month does DBSA Seattle meet?
We meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month, except in November (as Thanksgiving is on the 4th Thursday of November) and occasionally December (as Christmas sometimes conflicts with our schedule too).
Where does DBSA Seattle meet?
(Notice: Please check our most recent blog post for location updates.)
Our two locations are as follows:
2nd Thursday: 7-9 PM at the Harborview Research and Training building, (across from Harborview Hospital) at the corner of 9th Ave. and Alder St. (300 9th Ave) in one of the first floor rooms, usually 121. 206-731-3000 and map with directions Here’s link to Google Transit Beta for bus or driving info (here). ** Our 2nd Thursday group currently meets 7-9pm in either room 111 or 112 on the ground floor of the Maleng Building. (410 9th Ave) This is on the same block as the Harborview Research and Training Building, just at the other end. (Updated July 2019) Use Google Transit Beta to get bus or driving info to front of UW hospital here.
Do I have to register to attend a meeting?
To preserve group safety and individual privacy we’re asking people to request the link to our online meetings by first completing a form.
However, if you want occasional updates, meeting reminders, and sometimes something interesting thing to read, we have a mailing list: Mailing List (Not shared)
Is there a cost to attend?
All DBSA meetings are free. At some point during meetings we do usually make a request for donations to cover the organizations modest operating expenses however all donations are completely voluntary.
If you would like to support us here’s our paypal link:
Another way people contribute to our community is by sharing our meeting information with their doctors, therapists and friends they think might benefit from knowing about us.
What happens at a meeting?
A meeting starts with the facilitator introducing the rules and outlining the structure of the meeting. Then we go around the room with voluntary introductions of the attendees. After that, we establish what some of the questions and issues are that people are thinking about and then the meeting opens up to whatever the group wants to discuss that evening. We try to address everyone’s issues/concerns but don’t always. (There’s always the next meeting.)
What are these “rules” you speak of?
1. “Playground Rule”: No physical or verbal attacks. We’re each responsible for ourselves and our behavior. We are also to some extent responsible to the communities we live in and should let people know when we’re uncomfortable and support those that need our help. This rule is obvious, rarely violated, and breaking it will not be tolerated.
2. “Confidentiality rule”: What’s said at DBSA stays at DBSA. To encourage a safe place to share we go by first names and do not discuss what’s said in DBSA meetings outside of DBSA meetings. Your story is yours to tell and no one elses. (Standard expectations apply)
3. “Medical Advice is worth what you paid for it rule”: Sharing what works for us and learning what has worked for others can be useful. But what works for you might not work for someone else, and what caused problems for you might be the perfect thing for someone else. For this reason we share only our experience and perspectives and provide no prescriptive advice. We encourage you to discuss any changes in treatment with your healthcare team or a medical professional before taking any action.
4. “Your return depends on your investment rule”: You are not obligated to participate in discussions. If you aren’t doing well it’s ok to “pass” instead of share. However, what you get out of a meeting is about more than just showing up. What you learn is often more about what you share. The questions you raise and experiences you relate can help others in two key ways: 1. by allowing them to help you, and by 2. underscoring how they are not alone in dealing with these issues. Don’t be afraid to open up.
How many people attend at a given meeting?
DBSA meetings vary from roughly 4 – 25 people on average. It “just depends”.
If I’m running late should I wait until the break to come in?
We prefer people to show up on-time (or just before) our meetings 7pm start time. However we live in a world where “things happen” and traffic/parking is a mess. So, show up when you show up. It’s better to get interruptions over with quickly than to make big productions out of them. Rest assured, we are glad you are able to come and look forward to seeing you EVEN if it’s only for a moment near the end of a meeting. (Still, please try not to make a habit of being late.)
Will I have to participate or can I just observe?
Talking is always optional at meetings so there is no pressure to actively participate if an attendee wants to just observe. However if you intend to “just observe” please speak with the facilitator before the meeting begins. No one in attendance should be made to feel that they are being judged so you will still need to introduce yourself to some degree. (Medical or Nursing students wishing to attend will only be allowed to with the consent of those in attendance. Please introduce yourself to the meeting facilitator before the meeting starts so that formality can be observed early.)
Are friends and family welcome?
We encourage friends and family members to attend. They/you can either attend with the person who has depression or bipolar disorders, or on their/your own. Often family and friends are able to offer questions that spark the useful conversations everyone can learn from. And those giving support need support resources themselves.
Advice for supportive attendees: Attention is a resource that’s most valuable when it’s either focused or shared. Be careful not to make your participation “all about you.”
Can I get medical advice at these meetings?
The answer to this question isn’t simple.
DBSA Greater Seattle, it’s officers, facilitators… and even those to show up at the meetings… are only able to offer support based on our personal experience, we are not qualified to offer medical advice… for that you should consult a qualified medical professional. Treatments that work well for one person can produce significant side effects for another, and treatments that cause problems for one person can be the saving grace for another.
That said, there’s a great deal of insight to be learned from individual’s experiences with lifestyle changes, philosophical outlooks, treatment options, side effects, dealing with side effects, effective therapy models, the experience of working with various medical professionals and treatment facilities, etc. You won’t know the answers to the questions you didn’t ask.
Are there other types of meetings in the Puget Sound area?
The National Advocates for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) and other organizations provide support meetings for depression and bipolar disorder as well as meetings for family and friends. They also maintain a comprehensive list of meetings going on in the area. For more information, contact them at 206 783-9264 or www.nami-greaterseattle.org
Do you have a flyer with the Meeting Schedules?
Due to how up in the air everything is these days (COVID) we recommend you check the main page of the blog or sign up to get our notices: Mailing List
I want to support you, how can I do it?
You can tell people about us. Or you could maybe make a donation (We don’t have very many expenses but they do add up.)