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On June 12, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Boston (DBSA) honored McLean Hospital’s Behavioral Health Partial Hospital Program (BHP) with its Champions Award. DBSA presented the award at a ceremony held in the de Marneffe Building on McLean’s Belmont campus. DBSA awarded a commemorative plaque to BHP, and BHP staff members received baseball caps with the DBSA logo.
DBSA is a non-profit organization serving the needs of individuals with depression, mania, bipolar disorder, and related issues as well as the needs of their family and friends. They offer regular support groups at McLean and Massachusetts General Hospitals six times each week. Also, DBSA hosts monthly lectures and regular creative expression evenings that focus on musical performances for patients and families at McLean Hospital.
BHP Director Thröstur Björgvinsson, PhD, ABPP, said that “BHP has had a close relationship with DBSA” for years. BHP helps individuals with mood and anxiety disorders, depression, personality disorders, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorders. The program teaches skills to help them transition from acute care and better cope with life circumstances.
“We are honored, humbled, and excited to receive the award because DBSA and BHP share the same mission,” Björgvinsson said.
According to DBSA President Chuck Weinstein, LMHC, CPRP, CPS, his organization created the Champions Award “to give back to the BHP and let them know how much we appreciate them.” Some 125 to 150 individuals attend DBSA’s Wednesday evening meetings. Of individuals referred to those meetings, Weinstein reported that “38 of the 72 referrals documented for the past year were from BHP—far more than any other organization.”
“When we looked at the referral numbers, our jaws dropped,” Weinstein said. “It’s amazing the number of people they send our way.”
“Because DBSA is a peer-oriented, community support program, many BHP clinical team managers see DBSA as a huge resource for recovery,” said Lynne M. Kopeski, MSN, PMHCNS-BC, nurse director of BHP.
She added that BHP staff refer patients to DBSA as an option for additional support. “Sometimes, we recommend that they try DBSA meetings at McLean while they’re still here in our program to see if it might be a nice fit,” Kopeski said.
Based on the high number of referrals, DBSA’s board unanimously decided to create a special award and present it to BHP. “We have honored individuals in the past, but this year we decided to create a new award for an organization,” Weinstein stated. Based on referrals and support, DBSA will present a Champions Award each year to a deserving hospital or group.