to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the leading patient-directed national organization focusing on the most prevalent mental illnesses. The organization fosters an environment of understanding about the impact and management of these life-threatening illnesses by providing up-to-date, scientifically-based tools and information written in language the general public can understand. DBSA supports research to promote more timely diagnosis, develop more effective and tolerable treatments and discover a cure. The organization works to ensure that people living with mood disorders are treated equitably. DBSA was founded in 1985.

DBSA is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that answers more than 3,000 calls per month on our toll-free information and referral line and receives over seven million hits per month on our website. Each month we distribute nearly 20,000 educational materials free of charge to anyone requesting information about mood disorders. DBSA reaches nearly four million people through our educational materials and programs, exhibit materials and media activities. In 2006, DBSA received more than 1.5 billion media impressions.

DBSA has a grassroots network of nearly 1,000 patient-run support groups across the country. Our peer-led chapters and support groups serve about 70,000 people every year. Support groups play an important role in recovery with 86 percent of support group members reporting that their group helped with treatment adherence. This is a key finding because treatment adherence means fewer hospital stays, which in turn means lower insurance costs, greater employee productivity and significantly increased quality of life. DBSA has 17 state organizations and more than 400 chapters across America.

DBSA publishes more than two dozen educational materials about living with mood disorders, all available free of charge. Its educational materials have no medical or scientific jargon, and convey a message of hope and optimism. All materials are reviewed by patients to ensure the contents are targeted for patients and their families.

DBSA helps when people need it most: before diagnosed, when first diagnosed, and when treatment isn’t working.

1. People with severe mental illness can and do recover.

2. Peer support is an important part of many people's recovery plan.

3. Treatment for mental illnesses should be person-driven, recovery-oriented, individual and available to all.