Find Community. Find Wellness. Find Hope.

Annual Report 2022

A Word From Leadership

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Note from the Board Chair

In 2022, though COVID-19 was still very much a part of our lives, businesses and public events began opening their doors again. In fact, for the first time since 2019, the Gerald L. Klerman Award and Scientific Advisory Board Reception took place in-person, in New Orleans.   

Thankfully, conversations around mental health and reducing stigma remained top of mind. In late 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry jointly declared the soaring rates of child mental health conditions a national emergency. DBSA responded with a campaign to pediatricians and new resources for parents and caregivers. In addition, DBSA has taken an official position that all youth and families should have access to a robust crisis response system that has developmentally appropriate policies, staffing, and resources in place to respond to their needs equitably and effectively.  

Another movement to address the mental health crisis is the employment of the 988 number. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the 988-lifeline received over 2 million contacts, including calls, text messages, and chat messages nationally. This represents an increase of 43% over the previous year. Further good news, the response time decreased by 25% from the previous year.   

I am on DBSA’s board because I am grateful and so privileged to have met so many people and families affected by depression and bipolar disorder and have witnessed the resiliency and the amazing opportunities that are made possible when the medical profession works in unison with people who are affected by mood disorders.  

We are all enormously grateful to you, our supporters, and our community, as we go forward together in our relentless pursuit of mental health wellness for all.  

Roger McIntyre, MD, FRCPC,
Board Chair

Find Community. Find Wellness. Find Hope.™

In the spring of 1978, Rose Kurland started her search for healing and support. After being hospitalized for depression, she began looking for self-help support groups for people living with depression. But she didn’t find any. 

So, she started a support group in her living room. 

Rose co-founded DBSA because she sought something revolutionary: A supportive community of people living with depression and bipolar disorder. She sought wellness on her terms, not those as defined by doctors, employers, or other outside sources. And, perhaps most salient of all, she sought hope: Hope for herself and for the future of all people living with mood disorders. 

While our mission remains the same, the DBSA of today is much different from the organization founded in 1978. Last fall, DBSA introduced our new tagline: Find Community. Find Wellness. Find Hope.™ This new tagline will serve as a framework for communicating the mission, promise, and value of DBSA to those we serve.  

DBSA is committed to actions that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to enhance mental wellness for all. 

DBSA recognizes the unique ways identity, culture, and access affect people living with mood disorders. We strive to create safe and inclusive spaces for individuals to feel empowered on their own path to wellness. DBSA seeks to create equitable access to peer support services and mental health resources and advocate for all individuals with a lived experience with a mood disorder, regardless of cultural and social identity or systemic barriers. 

The above statement is a result of a commitment DBSA made to our community three years ago. One of our core beliefs is that the lived experience of people should inform everything DBSA does. For too long, DBSA didn’t recognize the gap in sharing peer voices from historically marginalized communities. Since June of 2020, DBSA has worked with peers and DEI experts to help us audit our internal policies, communications, and resources to bridge that gap. 

Diverse hands from heart

I have experienced discrimination, lack of access to care, and stigma, and I am still being targeted. I am passionate about peer support because I didn’t have a smooth experience when navigating the health care system. I want to be an ear to listen, a resource for help, a voice for those who cannot speak, and support people like me and my community.
– Nicole B., a student in DBSA’s Peer Apprentice Program and a U.S. Army Veteran

Finding Community

Peer Support

Our community of people living with mental health conditions, their families, and mental health advocates are at the heart of who we are and what we do. DBSA’s free peer support groups are available in-person and online to foster connections that lead to wellness.

85 local DBSA Chapters

Almost 21,000 online and in-person support group meetings are offered annually.

Nearly 350,000 participants attended a DBSA Support Group in 2022

80% of DBSA Online Support Group attendees reported feeling more hopeful after a meeting.

illustration of diverse support group

Additional Groups

In 2022, DBSA added more support groups for the Black community, designed to address the unique cultural needs of Black Americans, making a total of nine (9) support groups per week.

In Fall 2022, DBSA piloted a series of teen groups and parent and caregiver support groups. The parent and caregiver groups proved beneficial and became full support groups in January 2023.

Identity-Focused Groups

DBSA recognizes the unique ways that identity, culture, and access affect people living with mood disorders and strives to create safe and inclusive spaces for individuals to feel empowered on their own path to wellness.

An average of 34 people a month registered for the national online Veterans support group.

An average of 287 people a month attended the national online Black community support groups.

An average of 193 people a month registered for the national online co-occurring usage disorder support groups.

1.8 million
visits to

People from all over the world come to to learn more about depression and bipolar disorder, find support groups, and download free wellness tools.

Man on computer
DBSA Summit 2022

DBSA Summit Most Successful to Date

The 2022 DBSA Summit once again featured keynote speaker and daytime television star Maurice Benard (“General Hospital”), who shared about his life growing up with and managing a mood disorder in 2021. In 2022, Benard acted in his capacity as Host of the Podcast State of Mind and interviewed DBSA CEO, Michael Pollock, and DBSA Peer Support Specialist and Facilitator, Michele Bibby.

500 registrants participated in 30 individual live and recorded sessions designed to educate and empower those living with depression or bipolar disorder, their families, and friends.

DBSA Young Adult Council Continues to Thrive

DBSA's Young Adult Council (YAC) added 12 new members in 2022, also increasing the diversity among the group by adding more male members and members from different backgrounds. They showed leadership during the DBSA Summit, presenting two sessions: “Words Matter: How We Talk About Mental Health” and “Just Diagnosed: Perspectives from the DBSA Young Adult Council”. Beyond leading and participating in webinars, they continue to build resources for other young adults.

Finding Wellness

Nearly 10,000
Mood Crew® games and activities downloaded

Resilience Building Starts in Childhood

In 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry jointly declared the soaring rates of child mental health conditions a national emergency and identified pediatric providers as critical gateways for expanded access to mental health screening and care. DBSA heard this call and saw an opportunity to provide pediatricians with free education and resources. With funding from American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, in late August 2022, we reached 5,000 pediatricians with these newly developed free assets.

Wellness Tools and Resources

Because nobody else experiences wellness or illness the same way, you get to define what wellness means for you. Your definition of wellness can change over time, depending on life experiences and environments. Having tools to reflect where you are on your path can help you find and maintain wellness. In addition, using the DBSA Wellness Tracker can be a great way for you and your health care provider to keep track of moods and symptoms, which helps your overall treatment.


Over 21,000
Wellness Wheel
and Wellness Tracker downloads

Over 8,000
podcast downloads

Over 5,000
brochure downloads

Transforming the Definition of Wellness for People Living with Mood Disorders

Significant progress was made in developing a new Depression Wellness Clinical Outcome Assessment that included interviewing clinical experts and the development of a hypothesized framework. This tool evaluates progress made and maintained in living in wellness for individuals living with depression and has the potential to improve medical product design and expand third-party reimbursement for treatment.

Peer Apprentice Program

In 2022, cohort one completed year two of the DBSA Peer Apprentice Program. We have seen great accomplishments come from our Peer Apprentices and are pleased to share their success stories.

Nicholas P., an Air Force Veteran, was hired by the Jesse Brown VA Hospital on September 26th, 2022, as a Veteran Peer Support Specialist. Nick states that he would not have been able to be considered for the position without the training and support of DBSA’s Peer Apprentice Program.

Nicole B., an Army Veteran, was chosen to assist with the design and implementation of Breakthrough Urban Ministries “Peer Empowerment Initiative”. Breakthrough Urban Ministries and DBSA have established a partnership that provides our Apprentices with a place to complete their 6-month internship that allows them to practice their Peer Support skills “on the job.”

Both Nick and Nicole are members of our inaugural cohort and are developing into leaders in the field of Peer Support. They both were supported by Boeing’s contribution to DBSA.

DBSA Peer Apprentices are currently placed with nonprofit organizations that work with marginalized communities, including BIPOC and Veterans.

Finding Hope

Amplifying the Peer Voice

DBSA advocacy programs give peers an opportunity to share their experience with audiences including public health decision-makers and medical product developers. Last year:

50 peers participated in the Advocacy Track during our Summit

Peers participated in 18 external events including panelists or presenters at conferences

9 peer council groups were held

27 peers participated in individual interviews

3 peers represented DBSA on PCORI research stakeholder committees

Thousands of stakeholders, researchers, policymakers, and advocates heard the peer perspective, which supports treatment outcomes that are relevant to the peer.


DBSA Executed a Federal Legislative Strategy Toward Authorizing the Expansion of Peer Support Services

Congress authorized a new $13 million SAMHSA program to expand access to virtual peer support services as well as training of peer specialists. When funding is appropriated, DBSA and other non-profits can expand the number of virtual peer support groups.

Congress authorized over 300 new Veteran peer specialist positions: two at each Veteran Health Services mental health facility, increasing access to quality mental health services for U.S. Veterans.

Increasing Peer Engagement Creates More Opportunities

With communications such as the Making Mental Health Matter newsletter, action alerts, and active recruitment, DBSA primes peers to engage in advocacy on a deeper level. In doing so, it encourages peer advocates to participate in future events, moving them up the advocacy chain.

individuals served as advocates and trained peer specialists and facilitators

I joined the Marines at 18. My time in the military took me all around the world, most notably the Middle East where I served on Task Force Papa Bear during Operation Desert Storm. My time in the Middle East affected me greatly and aggravated my underlying mental health conditions. Not only was my mental health damaged (as I came back with PTSD) so was my spiritual health, too. My soul hurt and you do not have to be a veteran to experience that.

I'm Living Proof: A Letter to My Younger Self

DBSA launched Season 2 of I’m Living Proof: A Letter to My Younger Self

Over 6,000 people downloaded stories from real people who have struggled with a mood disorder and still found a way to live the lives they want to lead. Wellness is possible for everyone; They’re living proof.

For example, Mik knew something was wrong when at 10 years old she experienced suicidal ideation. What started as something she couldn’t understand took her on a journey which ended up with her diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Now, Mik bravely shares her experience through humor and educational videos online and discusses her journey and activism with us.


DBSA Peer Awards

At the 2022 DBSA Summit, DBSA recognized four individuals whose support goes above and beyond. These individuals have served their community in extraordinary ways and have all helped others in recovery to thrive and live in wellness.

Susan Noonan, MD | DBSA Peer Specialist of the Year

Susan Noonan, MD, exemplifies how someone who lives with a mood condition can thrive through commitment, compassion, knowledge, and desire to share her lived experience with others. She has shared this knowledge as the author of two books for peers and caregivers.

Vail Smith, USMC | DBSA Veteran Peer Specialist of the Year

Vail creates safe spaces for other Veterans, listens, and connects to them. He is a pillar within Chicagoland’s Veteran community. Vail provides hope and stability to many of our nation’s heroes still searching to find their way.

Bert Patania, M.Ed., CADC | DBSA Peer Specialist Student of the Year

Bert’s client-directed work with high-risk youth and families in Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs demonstrates his commitment to creating thriving lives. He also diligently educates parents on dealing with the challenges of substance use and mental disorders among children.

Kimberly Allen, LCDC | DBSA’s Peer Advocate of the Year

As a global mental health advocate, Kimberly has worked tirelessly to bring the peer perspective to the forefront of public policy. As chair of the DBSA Texas Grassroots Organization, she worked to ensure mental health reform in Texas.

DBSA Gerald L. Klerman Awards

The Gerald L. Klerman Award is the highest honor that DBSA gives to members of the scientific community. Presented each year, this award recognizes researchers whose work advances knowledge of the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. Up to two awards are given annually in each of the following two categories: DBSA Gerald L. Klerman Award, Senior Investigator and DBSA Gerald L. Klerman Award, Young Investigator.

Picture of Dr. Vikram Patel

Vikram Patel, MD, PhD | Senior Investigator Award

Dr. Patel is the Pershing Square Professor of Global Health at the Harvard Medical School. His research as a psychiatrist over the past two decades has generated evidence on the burden and impact of mental disorders and on strategies to deploy community resources for their prevention and care. His earlier work showed that depression is a universal cause of human suffering, strongly associated with social disadvantage and deprivation, and leading to premature mortality, disability, and discrimination.

Picture of Dr. Zarate

Carlos Zarate, MD | Senior Investigator Award

Dr. Zarate is Chief, Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch, at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). At NIMH, Dr. Zarate created a long-standing research program that, for over 20 years, has focused on developing novel therapeutics for adults with mood disorders, including those with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), bipolar disorder, and suicidal ideation.

Picture of Dr. Morton

Emma Morton, PhD | Young Investigator Award

Dr. Morton is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of British Columbia, and member of the Collaborative Research Team to study psychosocial issues in bipolar disorder. Her research seeks to optimize the measurement and treatment of outcomes valued by patients living with mood disorders, with particular interest in the quality of life (QoL) of people living with bipolar disorder.


To help meet the increased demand for support and resources, DBSA invested additional funds in 2022 from our reserves.

Statement of Activities

2022 2021
Contributions $2,182,652 $3,027,486
Program fees $366,884 $259,747
Net Investment Income ($226,983) $156,906
Donated Goods and Other Services $3,600 $36,112
Total Revenue $2,326,153 $3,480,251
Program Expenses $2,506,124 $2,136,713
Supporting Services Expenses
Management and General $514,003 $464,584
Fundraising $438,624 $316,515
Total Supporting Services $952,627 $781,099
Total Expenses $3,458,751 $2,917,812
Change in Net Assets $(1,132,598) $562,419
Net Assets, Beginning of Year $3,969,985 $3,407,546
Net Assets, End of Year $2,837,387 $3,969,985

Statement of Financial Position

2022 2021
Cash and Cash Equivalents $774,836 $1,099,437
Accounts Receivable $27,732 $12,108
Contributions Receivable $279,848 $495,995
Prepaid Expenses $205,985 $246,655
Total Current Assets $1,288,401 $1,854,195
Property and Equipment, Net $380,169 $497,697
Other Assets
Deposits $20,000 $20,000
Investments $1,745,162 $2,268,871
Total Assets $3,433,732 $4,640,763

Liabilities and Net Assets

Accounts Payable $85,242 $56,168
Accrued Payroll and Vacation $110,639 $92,988
Deferred Revenue $6,705 $10,230
Operating Lease Liability $393,759 $511,392
Total Liabilities $596,345 $670,778
Net Assets
Unrestricted $2,381,156 $3,145,397
Donor Restricted $456,231 $824,588
Total Net Assets $2,837,387 $3,969,985
Total Liabilities and Net Assets $3,433,732 $4,640,763

Thank You

This work is only possible thanks to supporters like you. DBSA is deeply grateful for our community, staff, board of directors, volunteers, and donors who made our work possible in 2022 and beyond.

2022 Investors

$100,000 or More

Dauten Family Foundation
Paul and Mary Finnegan
Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc.

Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.
Teva Pharmaceuticals

$25,000 - $99,000

AbbVie Inc.
Alkermes, Inc.
ALKS Inspiration Grant
Axsome Therapeutics Inc
BioXcel Therapeutics
Boeing Corporation
Bryan and Iliana Cressey
Kent and Liz Dauten

Jim Gordon
Intra-Cellular Therapies
Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
Lundbeck Inc.
Myriad Genetics
Novartis Pharma Ag

Sage Therapeutics
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.

$10,000 - $24,999

Andrew and Alice Fischer Charitable Trust
Anonymous (3)
Atai Life Sciences
Baszucki Brain Research Fund
Benevity Community Impact Fund
Carole B. and Kenneth J. Boudreaux
Community Health Charities

The Marc Haas Foundation
Miranda Cooper
Harman Family Foundation
Harri Hoffman Family Foundation
Henry Foundation, Inc.
Holmusk Technologies, Inc.
Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Joining Forces (IJF)
Ellen Krantz

Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust
LivaNova USA, Inc.
Network for Good
Support Group Central (Hey Peers)
Sydney & Stanley S. Shuman
University of Washington
Ms. Rebecca Weinstein Bacon

$5,000 - $9,999

Ms. Christy B. Beckmann and Mr. Jim Vykopal
Mrs. Frances S. Belasco
Suzanne and James Bergoffen
Charityvest, Inc.
Department of Veteran Affairs: Strategic Acquisition Center
Efficient CME

Nona Fine
Shaun and Selme Finnie
Steven and Jani Harris
Jeremy Hedrick
Mr. Bradley S. Hvolbeck
Eva Csordasne Kohegyi
Todd Lanscioni
Dr. Robert Z. Lawrence

Ms. Susan L. Madian
Thomas Miglis
Larry Richman
Carol Rubin and Steve Kaplan
Gary Sachs, M.D.
Chaz Trenholm

$2,500 - $4,999

Ms. Isela Bahena
Bright Funds Foundation
Mr. Edward Brill
Robert Brown
CISCRP - Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research
David and Liz Chandler
Mark A Frye, M.D.
Give Lively Foundation Inc.

Ms. Barbara J. Glynn
House Of Cards
Eileen Kamerick
Mr. Baromkoch Leenutaphong
Mr. MJ Leman and Carolyn Leman
Jim and Jane Ann Lockwood
Bridget Maul
Mr. Michael Pollock
Margaret Annett and Stephen Poma
Prime Inc

Seton Hall University
Dr. Altha Stewart
Trisha Suppes, M.D., Ph.D
Mr. Darrel K. Wilcox
University Of Cincinnati Medical College
Douglas Williamson

$1,500 - $2,499

Ms. Kimberly Allen and Susie Brodsky
Dr. and Mrs. Mark S. Bauer
Kathy Bernstein
Terrance and Georgia Blazevic
Mr. Danvers Boardman
Dr. John Budin
Bill Campbell
Victoria Chumney

Ms. Roberta Culbertson
Marlea and Barry Gruver
Justin Haber
Karen and Seth Hieken
Mrs. Merry Beth Kowalczyk
Ms. Pam Malfitano
Ms. Ellen Malow
Mrs. Carole Mourad
Patient Access Network Foundation

John and Mary Quinn
Relmada Therapeutics, Inc.
Ms. Victoria Rosskam
Sarah Salice
Tod Tappert
Myrna Weissman, Ph.D.

$1,000 - $1,499

Krishna and Ja-Ling Agrawal
Tatiana Allen
Anonymous (3)
Ms. Cynthia Ballard
Bengt and Marianne Bjernfalk
The Blackbaud Giving Fund
Mrs. Lisa A. Blazar
Ida and Steve Chan
Charities Aid Foundation
Mr. Eamonn Cleary
Dr. Mary A. Fristad and Dr. Joseph F. Fiala
Mr. Jeffrey Hall
Investis Digital
Edward and Mary Jinks
Kathleen Kirk
Jason Kreuziger and JoJo Bahnam
Mr. Michael W. Kuhl

William B. Lawson, M.D.,Ph.D., F.A.P.A.
Barbara and Kenneth Mais
Dr. Lauren Marangell
Pasquale Mascaro Jr.
William Masterson
Glenn McCarthy
Roger S. McIntyre MD FRCPC
Jill and Marc Mehl
Mr. and Mrs. Howard Merritt
Pierre Mourad
David N. Osser, M.D.
Mr. and Mrs. Ricardo A. Pascoe
Roy Perlis
Mr. Bruce Pfaff
Mr. Donald Provasi
Nancy Pyron

Christopher and Lori Rothko
John Rush, M.D.
Karen and Stephen Sanger
Marian Sassetti, M.D.
Sara Madeleine Saz
Dr. Gregory Simon
Richard Smiley
Dr. John S. Tamerin and Ms. Susan Penry-William
Joan Tanner
Kurt and Lisa Terrien
Ken and Pat Thompson
Cameron and Jane Thornton Vanguard
Mrs. Tan T. Vu
Tracy Whitlock
Matthew and Holly Yeterian