WELCOME!

Our History

DBSA Nashua was started in March of 2003. The group was started to promote Mental Health awareness in the community, to help reduce the stigma associated with Mental Health Disorders, and to give those with Mental Health Disorders a safe place to meet so that they might benefit from the support and understanding of those who have walked in their shoes.

Organization

DBSA Nashua is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization and is incorporated in the State of New Hampshire. It is run by a board of directors of which at least 51% must consist of people with a mental wellness issue. In addition to a board of directors, DBSA Nashua has four elected officers; President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Annual elections for officers are held at the start of each year.

DBSA Nashua relies on facilitators to help guide its meetings. Facilitators are not therapists and are not mental health professionals. They are peers (like you) selected by the DBSA Nashua Board of Directors to attend formal facilitator training. Facilitators receive ongoing training, guidance, and support. The facilitator’s role is to help guide the discussion and to help ensure a safe and supportive environment.

Members interested in becoming a facilitator should meet with a facilitator prior to the start of or immediately following the end of any meeting. The DBSA Nashua Board of Directors will consider any member interested in becoming a facilitator, but does not guarantee that all members interested will be chosen.

DBSA Nashua meets at the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center at Community Council building, located at 100 West Pearl Street in Nashua every Thursday from 7:00 to 9:00 pm except in the case of inclement weather.

Mission Statement

DBSA Nashua is a community of peers providing a safe place to give support in hopes of achieving mental wellness for those who seek it. We do this together through acceptance, validation, and allowing one’s voice to be heard respectfully.

Our commitment is to do more they provide a sense of belonging between our peers; it is to give purpose and belonging within ourselves and society as a whole.

The goal of DBSA Nashua is to continue the journey by moving forward and extended our message of the importance of mental health virtues and imperfections we welcome throughout our daily lives.

Nondiscrimination Policy 

DBSA Nashua is committed to the principle of equal opportunity and to providing a safe and supportive environment for all. With that in mind, DBSA Nashua does not discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, national or ethnic origin, veteran status, or ancestry.

DBSA Nashua will not tolerate discrimination in any form exerted by any member or members against any other member(s). Discrimination runs counter to the DBSA Nashua goal of providing a safe and supportive environment and as such, reserves the right to expel any member or members who fail to abide by this policy.

Confidentiality 

DBSA Nashua is committed to ensuring confidentiality for its members. To provide a safe and supportive environment for members to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences; it is crucial that no member disclose the identity of another member or discuss what is shared during a meeting with anyone who is not a member of DBSA Nashua. The rule is “what is shared here, stays here.”

Sharing and Caring Guidelines

DBSA Nashua is not a 12-step program and does not offer group therapy. We bring people together in an effort to support each other through discussion. Our feelings, experiences, and coping strategies give hope to all of us – even though no one has all the answers. We ask that members arrive no later than 6:55 pm so that they can find/prepare their nametag and find a seat. We strive to start our meetings promptly at 7:00 pm. We take a 10-minute break at 8:00 pm. The meeting ends at 9:00 pm.

On the occasions when the group attendance swells to over twenty, we may divide the group in an effort to allow everyone more time for sharing and caring depending on space and facilitator availability.

Members must wear a nametag with only their first name on it. This shows courtesy to other members and helps the facilitator to identify a member who has raised their hand.

At the start of every meeting, we conduct “check-in.” We go around the room in round-table fashion and introduce ourselves to the other members in attendance. Members are only required to state their first name and may also share which disorder(s) they struggle with, how their week has been, and if there is an issue for which he or she would like support during the meeting. Check-ins are intended to be brief and should be limited to a couple of minutes. We ask that members hold their questions until the meeting officially begins at the end of check-in.

Following check-in, we open the meeting to general “sharing and caring”. The group determines the discussion. Members are never forced to share or participate unless they so desire. All members have the right to “pass” if they do not wish to speak. It is important to recognize that all members have valuable experience to offer other members.

If you wish to speak, raise an issue, ask a question, or respond to another speaker; please raise your hand and the facilitator will call upon you in turn. We ask that members do not talk out of turn or while someone else is talking, the rule is “no cross talk.” If you feel the need to have a side conversation, please take it quietly outside the room. It is disrespectful to have a conversation with someone while another member is speaking.

Groups deal with issues that may be sensitive, emotional, and new to some people. Another member may be in crisis or you may hear experiences that are different from your own. We ask that you listen respectfully. Feel free to ask questions; it is a great way to get the discussion going and get the information that you want or need. If an individual is struggling and needs to speak with someone they feel comfortable with, the facilitator may coordinate one-on-one support.

We care for each other by responding compassionately, not judgmentally. We listen with empathy, speak in turn, and do not monopolize the conversation. We recognize that each member’s situation is unique and that some of our members struggle with issues unrelated to mental wellness. In an effort to share our collective experience with mental wellness issues, we ask that members discuss issues related to their mental wellness only so members can help by sharing their experiences and by offering support.

In general, we do not discuss medications by name, dosages, or treatment options as one person’s experience with one medication or treatment option may differ greatly with another person’s experience. Changes in medication should only be made after consulting with a member’s mental health professional or physician.

Discussion of suicide and self-harm can be a very sensitive subject. The facilitator will use his or her discretion and may limit the discussion within the group. If an individual expresses potential harm to themselves or to others, or if their behavior causes excessive discomfort to other members, the facilitator may coordinate one-on-one support or seek outside assistance. However if a member is feeling suicidal, and had has made others aware, we will offer coping strategies and hope.

In Addition

Before offering to console someone with a hug or before touching another member in general, it is important to realize that your kind gesture might trigger some unwanted feelings on behalf of the person you wish to help. Saying something like, “I’m so sorry that you’re having a rough time, may I give you a hug?” will help prevent those unwanted feelings. The general rule of thumb is do not attempt to touch someone you don’t know without obtaining his or her permission.

It is important to emphasize that only regular attendance will help members obtain the most help from this group.

We encourage feedback from our members to insure that we grow and provide the greatest benefit to our organization.

We survive primarily on donations. If you can afford to give, please do. If you cannot, please don’t.

WWW.DBSANashua.org

updated 8/2017

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