Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Free support groups and family education workshops through the Depression Center and Department of Psychiatry offer additional therapy options and learning opportunities for individuals and families with bipolar disorder and depression. Held at the Rachel Upjohn Building, these groups and workshops offer patients and their families a chance to develop a support network and learn more about these illnesses, including discussions about risk factors, treatments, coping, healthy communication methods, and stigma.

The groups are open to anyone who wishes to learn more about depression and bipolar and find support for themselves or a family member, although some require advance registration.

Please note that the free workshops and support groups are separate from therapy groups for children, adolescents, and adults that require a referral from Department of Psychiatry staff members.

Family Education Workshops

A two-hour workshop that offers patients and families the opportunity to learn about depression and bipolar illness while gathering information about risk factors, treatments, impact  on families and healthy ways of communicating with each other. Attending a group meeting means that you will meet others with your circumstances and condition. Each member of the group will be asked to be respectful of confidentiality and will sign a statement saying they will not disclose any confidential information.

Day/Time: First Wednesday of every month from 6-8 p.m.
Place: Depression Center and Ambulatory Psychiatry facility, in the Rachel Upjohn Building, 4250 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48109, Room 1742A & B on the garden level. -map-

Group Leader: Laura Nitzberg, LMSW

Cost: Free, however advance registration is required. Register by calling Susan Wonnacott at 734-764-0250, or register online.

Due to space limitations, priority is given to families and patients currently being seen in the U-M Depression Center and U-M Department of Psychiatry. All adolescent and adult family members are welcome to attend.

Depression and Bipolar Illness Support Groups

These three groups offer opportunities to share ideas for coping, link with community resources, develop a support network, learn about depression and bipolar illness, and discuss issues of stigma.

Day/Time: 7:00-8:15 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Wed. of every month (some exceptions for holidays)
Place: Depression Center and Ambulatory Psychiatry facility, in the Rachel Upjohn Building, 4250 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48109, -map-
Group A: for Adults with Depression and Bipolar Illness - room 1922
Group B: for Adolescents and College Aged Persons with Depression and Bipolar Illness - room 1203
Group C: for Family Members of Persons with Depression and Bipolar Illness - room 1924

Group Leaders: post-graduate social work fellows will be the facilitators of the groups in conjunction with Laura Nitzberg, LMSW, supervising the program.

Cost: Free

Other Depression and Bipolar Support

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) also maintain searchable lists of support groups and links to local resources that allow you to find help in your area, wherever you may live.

NAMI Washtenaw County offers support group options both for family and friends of individuals with mental illness, and for people living with mental illness.