Starting a DBSA State Organization

DBSA state organizations:

  • collectively serve as representatives of DBSA in the state.
  • provide support to new and existing local DBSA chapters.
  • conduct statewide efforts to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders.

The first step in starting a state organization is to connect with the other DBSA chapters in your state to evaluate the interest. If there is interest in starting a state organization (not every chapter has to be involved, but the more that are, the stronger the organization will be), DBSA will work with you to set a time for the chapters in the state (and other interested individuals) to come together for a meeting to explore the possibility of starting the organization and to network. At this meeting, participants can talk more about what it means to be a DBSA state organization, decide if they want to do it, and begin developing plans for what the organization will do.

Each DBSA state organization offers different things, but many:

  • offer networking opportunities for all local chapters.
  • develop a list of state-wide resources for all chapters.
  • offer and hold trainings (facilitator, leadership skills, etc.) for local chapter leaders.
  • hold a state-wide conference for consumers.
  • develop a state-wide newsletter.
  • provide a lending library of resources for the local chapters.
  • travel to areas without DBSA support groups to help get them started.
  • help support groups that are just getting started.
  • refer people to their local support groups.
  • communicate legislative advocacy updates.

If you or your chapter has an interest in starting a state-wide effort with other chapters please contact DBSA Chapter Relations Department at (800) 826-3632, x175 or via e-mail at