The mission of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Colorado Springs is to improve the lives of people with mood disorders.
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Colorado Springs (DBSA-CS) was founded in 1994 to improve the lives of people with mood disorders. We offer peer-based, wellness-oriented support and empowering services and resources through free peer facilitated self-help support groups and other specialized programs for people with depressive illnesses and their families. Founder Karen Fallahi's son, Erik, was diagnosed with a mood disorder and his life was cut short. This tragedy motivated Karen to create DBSA-CS and offer one monthly support group for people with mood disorders. DBSA-CS now has a central office and offers 12 weekly support groups in four locations, with additional programs and services. We work to raise awareness in the community about the medical nature of mood disorders and toward eliminating the stigma, discrimination, and ignorance associated with such disorders. This outreach work includes psychiatric inpatient visits to hospitals to offer resources and hope for recovery post-discharge, presentations at schools on teen depression and suicide prevention, and participation in health fairs to educate the public on mental health. We maintain a resource library with over 1,000 books, videos, and periodicals providing current, readily understandable information about depression and bipolar disorder and empowering tools focused on an integrated approach to wellness.
Ultimately, all our efforts follow three core values: Peer focus, acceptance, and free.
Our primary organizational objectives are:
1. Increase organizational health and sustainability through staff and volunteer training and development, recruitment of skilled volunteers and executive leadership, and funding stream diversification.
2. Annually increase the number of support groups to better serve the demographic diversity of the Pikes Peak Region, including satellite locations, virtual groups for rural areas, and collaborative ventures with mental health providers and organizations.
3. Incorporate strategic collaborative partnerships to create specific events/activities that focus on fundraising, development, education, and/or outreach.
"DBSA became my life saver. If I hadn't been able to attend support groups on a weekly basis, I'm
sure I would have made another suicide attempt. I kept going to meetings and kept getting stronger."