The Right to Live in the Community

As the leading peer-focused organization for people living with mood disorders, DBSA champions the rights of peers through legislative advocacy as well as judicial advocacy.  Central to our advocacy is a long-standing tradition of working toward ending discrimination for people living with mood disorders.

We embrace a vision for a society where peers have the same freedoms enjoyed by other Americans and have the autonomy to make their own decisions about how to use and apply those civil and human rights.

The civil liberty to live where one wants to live is embedded in the American identity, as well as the DBSA stated Values and Core Beliefs. Among them is the belief that: All individuals have the right to direct their own care. Pivotal to directing one’s own care is where one receives that care, in the community or an institution. Read DBSA’s position paper about the Right to Live in the Community.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Olmstead v L.C. & E.W. stated: “Unjustified isolation is discrimination based on disability.” States must assist people living with a mental health condition in obtaining access to community-based services, if the person wants to live in the community. Many states have prioritized their Medicaid funding for community-based services over institutions, but budget shortfalls are often cited as reasons for lack of community-based services.

DBSA follows state legislation and funding that promotes and provides community-based living opportunities. We encourage our advocates to stay abreast of local discriminatory practices to block community-based housing or block location of DBSA support group meetings and keep us abreast of opportunities to mobilize our community by contacting us at advocacy@dbsalliance.org.

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

Empowering People to Live Well with Online Mental Health Education

People who live with mood disorders employ a variety of wellness strategies. DBSA encourages those who choose to seek treatment to identify and prioritize their preferred treatment outcomes and educate themselves about risk and benefits of treatment options, discuss those preferences with their clinician, and engage in shared decision-making. For our part, DBSA is producing educational materials in partnership with PlatformQ — a premier provider of innovative, interactive digital education for peers and clinicians.

This partnership will provide reliable online educational video modules about mood disorders to peers, clinicians and families supporting them in better understanding the conditions, available treatment options, and the latest research. Employer modules are also being considered.

These Live and on-demand video provides actionable education directly to people in need of support, no matter where they live, empowers peers to make resourceful and effective healthcare decisions, and prepares healthcare professionals to identify the signs and symptoms of mood disorders, and understand available treatment options.

To learn more about this collaboration, read about the announcement here.

This initiative is launched on the heels of two other successful joint educational programs in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) that focused on fostering better communication and shared decision-making between people living with MDD and their care teams. Members of the DBSA community served as panelists on these two programs which fielded hundreds of questions from learners. PlatformQ Health also supported DBSA’s work on Transforming the Definition of Wellness by sharing the Supporting Wellness survey with their community of registered peers. One of the many conclusions from this study found that a majority of respondents experienced a range of symptoms rather than a textbook diagnosis, challenging clinicians’ traditional treatment models, and outlining a further need for professional education.

Stay tuned for opportunities to share your experience with peers and clinicians to improve treatment options during upcoming educational programs.

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

Stay in touch with DBSA

Sign up for our newsletter