COVID-19 UPDATE: All groups are currently being held online via Zoom, at the same weekly times listed. For a link to any of the Zoom meetings, please email dbsaheartofchicago@gmail.com.

 

DBSA Heart of Chicago Chapter is currently offering three support groups: LGBTQIA+ Peer Support Group, Peer Support Group with ASL interpretation, and Friends and Family Support.

 

Our atmosphere is open-minded, friendly, and non-judgmental. All information discussed is confidential and meetings are led by peers (other people who are recovering from an illness).

 

All are welcome at our support groups. However, to protect privacy and enable people to speak freely, we do not allow casual observers, clinicians, or students to attend our meetings. 

LGBTQIA+
PEER SUPPORT GROUP

Every Saturday, 11:00am–12:30pm

Chicago Northside Location:

Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, Chicago
 

This group is for anyone living with a mood disorder, and is particularly focused on LGBTQIA+ issues and support. People of all ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, religious and cultural backgrounds are welcome. Friends and family are also welcome to this group.

PEER SUPPORT GROUP

(ASL interpretation available)

Every Thursday, 6:00pm–7:30pm

Chicago Loop Location:

77 W. Washington (Temple Building), 
Suite 420, Chicago

 

This group is for anyone living with a mood disorder. People of all ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, religious and cultural backgrounds are welcome. ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation is regularly provided at this meeting. Feel free to email dbsaheartofchicago@gmail.com for more information.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP

Every Tuesday, 6:00pm–7:30pm

Chicago Loop Location:

77 W. Washington (Temple Building), 
Suite 420, Chicago

 

This group is for anyone supporting a loved one living with a mood disorder. People of all ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, religious and cultural backgrounds are welcome.

DBSA Heart of Chicago FAQs

What can I expect at my first visit to a DBSA Heart of Chicago support group?


If you join us at our next weekly gathering, you'll be greeted by one of our peer facilitators and be given a welcome pack that provides a bit of information about the national organization, our chapter, and some resources for managing mood disorders.




What happens during the Saturday LGBTQIA+ support group?


We begin by reading our guiding principles. Then we go around to each attendee and do introductions: What's your name? What are your pronouns? What brings you to group? How's your week been going? After introductions are done, anyone can bring up any issue or topic that's been on their mind, discuss it at greater length, and ask the other members for their thoughts or suggestions, if they wish. The facilitator is there to keep the conversation orderly and help it to move along if necessary, but they do not choose the subjects to talk about. The group members do that. There is considerable freedom to introduce topics.




What happens during the Thursday night Peer Support group?


The group begins with one of our peer facilitators reading the guidelines for conversation, as well as any announcements about upcoming events or new resources in the community. If attendance is high, we may split into groups so that everyone has a chance to speak. We give each member an opportunity to "check in" with how they've been feeling. We recommend keeping this check-in within the past week for the sake of time, but newcomers may go into more detail or background if they like.




What happens during the Tuesday night Friends and Family group meeting?


The group begins with a reading of the group’s guidelines for conversation, followed by any announcements about upcoming events or new resources in the community. Then the group's facilitator will distribute an educational prompt that the group reads and then discusses. Discussion usually lasts 10-20 minutes. The rest of the meeting is dedicated to individual check-in and sharing of experiences.




Which group should I go to?


The Saturday LGBTQIA+ support group is a good fit for those who identify as LGBTQIA+ and their allies, who have personal lived experience with depression and/or bipolar disorder. Friends, partners and family members are also encouraged to attend.

The Thursday Peer Support group is a good fit for anyone who has personal, lived experience with depression and/or bipolar disorder.

The Tuesday Friends and Family Support group is for family and friends who are supporting loved ones living with depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders.




Who are our peer facilitators?


A peer facilitator is an individual with lived recovery experience who has been trained to help their peers move forward in their own recovery. They are not therapists, medical professionals, or certified to give any medical advice.




Do I have to do a lot of talking?


Not at all. After our basic introductions, it's completely up to you whether you want to bring up topics or provide feedback to others. If you're new, you might want to hang back a bit and see what it's all about. Or maybe not -- maybe you want to eagerly jump in. It's your call. One of our principles, read at the beginning of each meeting, is that YOU are the one who decides how much to say and what to share.




Is there a cost, or do I need a referral from my doctor?


No, the groups are offered at no cost. They are free, drop-in groups. No referral or advance notice is required.




How often should I attend?


There is no requirement or obligation to attend any certain number of sessions. We suggest newcomers visit at least three times to determine if the group is a good fit. Groups vary widely depending on how many people attend, who is facilitating, etc.





 
 
 

To contact DBSA Heart of Chicago, email or call:

dbsaheartofchicago@gmail.com

Google Voicemail: (773) 800-9836

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Or submit the following contact form:

© 2020 by DBSA Heart of Chicago Chapter.