A Common Foundation: Our collective beliefs form the foundation for unified, consistent messages about the treatment of mood disorders and the people who live with them.

DBSA believes:

  1. Depression and bipolar disorder can be life threatening conditions, but are also highly treatable.
  2. People living with depression and bipolar disorder can and do lead productive and thriving lives.
  3. All individuals have the right to direct their own treatment.
  4. Clinicians should work in collaboration with individuals to provide options for the person to consider when developing their treatment plan.
  5. There are four basic components to treatment including personal wellness strategies, peer support, medication, and talk therapy―a person has the right to choose to use one, any combination, or all of these components to achieve wellness.
  6. Clinicians, researchers, and peers should target complete wellness, not merely improvement, as the end goal of the clinical treatment of mood disorders.
  7. There is no one-size fits all treatment plan. DBSA doesn’t recommend or endorse any one particular treatment, but instead offers information and options to support personal decision-making.
  8. Peer support can be an immensely powerful tool to help a person achieve and maintain wellness.
  9. Supporters are integral to an individual’s wellness and often benefit from accessing support for themselves.
  10. Each person’s path to, and definition of, wellness is uniquely their own.
  11. Wellness encompasses an individual’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit, and community.
  12. All people should have access to quality mental health care.
  13. Having the peer perspective at the center of conversations about mental health results in better outcomes.
  14. DBSA provides support for people at all points in their wellness journey.
  15. All individuals living with or affected by mood disorders who are seeking wellness are welcome in the DBSA community.
  16. The lived experience of people  should inform everything DBSA does.

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