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The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance opens new office in Morgantown, volunteers welcome

By Jade Ruggieri

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of West Virginia recently opened its statewide office at Mountaineer Mall, 5000 Green Bag Road, in Morgantown. With a mission to provide hope, support and education for people with bipolar or depression, DBSA is a nationwide, nonprofit organization.

Over 23 million in the U.S. are affected by bipolar and depression, accounting for 50% of the nation’s suicides.

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of stigmas attached to any mental health issues – especially after COVID-19 – that it’s good to get information and good to get help,” Director of DBSA West Virginia Diane Kisinger said. “There’s a lot of people here that want to help you get through your journey.”

While not a substitute for professional help, DBSA offers 24/7 online support, in-person or online support groups, daily check-in calls and a Mood Crew, a group of fun, mood characters to help children talk about their feelings to their parents. Each support group is facilitated by a trained volunteer member who also has depression or bipolar disorder.

“Our motto is ‘we’ve been there; we can help,’ Kisinger said. “It’s much easier to talk to someone who has the same language, the same feelings and can identify what you’re going through.”

In its support, the DBSA builds on people’s strengths of what they already accomplished and uses the momentum to encourage people to go further. Specifically, in West Virginia, DBSA offers a safe place to talk about various mental health concerns. 

“Our depression rates are higher than average,” Kisinger said. “West Virginia is rural, and, in some areas, there are not a lot of mental health services or they’re not services people can afford.”

Kisinger went on to say although the DBSA is small and there are no full-time staff members, volunteers are the heart and soul of this organization. As DBSA continues to grow, they are always looking for new people who want to volunteer their time, whether it is as a group facilitator, an office manager or a peer-support specialist.

“Our volunteers are awesome, compassionate people that truly care about giving people hope and helping them through,” she said.

For anyone struggling with bipolar or depression disorder, support groups are located at DBSA-WV or contact Diane Kisinger at for questions or to volunteer.