Support Group Guidelines


  • Just as each individual is unique, so is their experience of a mood disorder.
  • Through the simple act of listening to each other’s stories we support and learn from each other.
  • By sharing our experiences, we learn a great deal about mood disorders and how to manage them.
  • By focusing on our strengths and what we have actually gained from our struggles and journeys we promote hope and self-acceptance.



  • Facilitators are volunteer leaders, not professionals.
  • They do not have all the answers, they are simply there to keep discussion on track and help maintain a safe, productive and respectful environment.


  • Treat each other with kindness and compassion.  Most of us are feeling vulnerable.
  • Respect the opinions and experiences of others as we want them to respect ours.
  • Don’t monopolize.  We are generous in the sharing process. 
  • Don’t judge.  Instead, we try to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes.
  • Are patient.  Each of us is trying to do the best we can at a given moment.
  • Are good listeners.  We all want to feel heard. 
  • Don’t tell someone else what to do. We Let others come to their own conclusions.
  • Don’t give advice.  What is helpful is speaking from our own experiences. 
  • Maintain confidentiality. What we say here, stays here. [While we ask participants to maintain confidentiality, we are unable to guarantee it.]
  • Avoid the following topics as they may unintentionally harm some participants: politics, graphic sexual themes, suicidal methods, and details of traumatic events.
  • Understand that the recovery process is unique and personal for each of us.     
  • Try to maintain an environment that is hopeful and optimistic, while fully keeping space for those who are feeling hopeless.