Join Fellow DBSA Advocates in Asking Congress to Assist Our Chapters

For the past 35 years, DBSA chapters have been providing in-person support group meetings for people living with mood disorders. But with millions of people sheltering in place, there is an increasing need to transition these meetings to virtual platforms. DBSA has asked Congress to help our 180+ chapters transition over 500 support groups by providing funds that will help them operate online support groups.

Recently we asked our advocates to join us in this effort by submitting letters to their U.S. Senators and Representatives. Advocates from 26 states answered that call. Many of you included personal messages. A Nevada chapter leader emailed Senator Cortez Masto this message:

“The DBSA online support groups have meant the world to me during this time. I am a veteran with complex PTSD and Bipolar Disorder. The novel coronavirus and all the life changes that it has brought put my anxiety through the roof. Being able to talk through my symptoms, hear from others experiencing the same thing, get helpful suggestions, and tell others what has helped me truly has been a life saver. I am prone to suicidal thoughts and have attempted suicide in the past. For me, when my anxiety gets bad, I also get depressed and have more suicidal thoughts. I have my VA appointments with my psychiatrist, and I did have a therapist until he was called up to help with COVID-19 as a reservist. My Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group was also cancelled, which was helping me a lot. Outside of taking my medications, the weekly DBSA support groups is all I currently have to manage my mental illness. Since suspending the in-person DBSA Southern Nevada support groups and moving online, several group members have expressed that the online meetings have helped them tremendously during this time. We are all watching out for each other and encouraging each other to stay positive!”

Your voice can make a difference

Please take a few minutes to send your own letters. Simple, easy instructions can be found at this link. The editable letter allows you to personalize it with your own story of gratitude. Do it today.

Your action can provide support to so many in need!

Please forward to colleagues, family, and friends to assist us in this grassroots effort to make our voice heard.

To continue to receive communications about issues that support access to quality mental health care,

Join Our Movement

Bringing Peer Concerns to the Table on Mental Health Parity Enforcement

We’ve sent you several communications about Mental Health Parity, the concept that insurers must cover mental health services and medications at the same rate as comparable medical services and medications. But, have you ever wondered what that entails?

Some examples of Mental Health Parity include how insurance providers make decisions about what is equal coverage for mental health treatment versus medical treatment, particularly in areas such as:

  • Number of therapy sessions;
  • How many days a person can be in a hospital;
  • What requirements are necessary for access to medications and treatment procedures;
  • The lack of in-network providers; and
  • The out-of-network rates that patients are paying.

DBSA has been actively involved in the implementation of Federal Mental Health Parity Laws; it is one of our top public policy priorities. As the leading peer-focused mental health organization whose mission is “to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders,” we amplify peers’ voices and work towards systemic change in the delivery of mental health care. As such, we are often approached by like-minded organizations and asked to provide peer stories about how policies affect actual people.

The Kennedy Forum, an organization working on transforming the health care system by uniting mental health advocates, business leaders, and government agencies around full implementation of the Federal Parity Law, has asked us to share peer stories. Their organization aims to achieve health equity by advancing evidence-based practices, policies, and programming for the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders.

Do you have experience with access to mental health care: good, bad or otherwise?

Please follow this link to share your story with us. DBSA is collecting stories that can be used to affect change. With this information, DBSA will create communication plans to educate members of Congress, fellow peers, family members and loved ones, as well as the general public on the importance of making sure that everyone has access to mental health care. We would also like to share stories with our partners at like-minded mental health advocacy organizations, so they can do the same thing.

Navigating insurance requirements can be confusing and complex for everyone. DBSA will continue to work with our partners at the Parity Implementation Coalition, The Kennedy Forum, NAMI and other patient and provider advocates to ensure that the millions of Americans living with mood disorders receive the services that they are entitled on under their insurance coverage.

Please forward to colleagues, family, and friends to assist us in this grassroots effort to make our voice heard.

To continue to receive communications about issues that support access to quality mental health care,

Join Our Movement

Supporting your recovery during the COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19 Resources