DBSA e-Update March 2011

Quick Links to Articles Below

Early Bird Rate Extended to April 15!
Experienced Voices Take the Lead in Mental Health First Aid Training
May 20th Deadline for June Peer Specialist Training in Bedford, MA
Self-empowerment: Conquering the Stigma Within
Wellness Tips from Peers

Early Bird Rate Extended to April 15!

Full Conference Rates: Early bird rates will be available until April 15, 2011. Registration for the main conference, Saturday to Sunday noon, is only $95 - $110, which includes a boxed lunch on Saturday.

Single Day Rates: Even if you can't attend the entire conference, you can still take part by registering for only Saturday all day, or Sunday morning.

Download the conference registration form (PDF), call (800) 826-3632, or register online.

Clarence Jordan Clarence Jordan to Present Closing Keynote
Advocate & veteran Clarence Jordan rounds out our keynote lineup. Clarence is living proof that having a mental illness “does not mean that you can’t live a happy and productive life.” Mr. Jordan is the Director of Recovery and Resiliency Services of Tennessee at ValueOptions where he is involved in planning on matters of current trends as well as treatment practices for both mental illness and substance abuse. We’re pleased to share that Clarence will also be co-presenting on supporting veteran-to-veteran recovery.
Check the conference schedule and see when our other keynote speakers take the stage: Patty Duke; Laura Burke; and Susan Blauner.

Breakout Sessions Announced
Choose from educational workshops that address topics including emotional eating, calming agitation, dual diagnosis, mood disorders in youth, disclosure, support for veterans, sharing your story through social media, current research, and more. Participate in one of five peer roundtables or wind down during our relaxation sessions! Participate in one of five peer roundtables or wind down during our relaxation sessions! For all session titles, descriptions, and times, visit DBSAlliance.org/events_2011confsessions.

Deeply Discounted Hotel Rates!
Single or double rooms at the conference hotel, the Westin Galleria Houston, are only $109/night and, parking is free to all conference attendees! For reservations, call (713) 960-8100 and be sure to state that you’re attending the DBSA conference, or reserve online.

Depression and Bipolar Support AllianceExperienced Voices Take the Lead in Mental Health First Aid Training

DBSA Chapter Relations Director, Ingrid Deetz, was selected to participate as part of a special Mental Health First Aid instructor training program in Georgia this week. This training is preparing 30 people who have experienced mental illness and addiction disorders to teach Mental Health First Aid to the public across the U.S.

Mental Health First Aid teaches members of the public how to help someone who may have a mental illness or is experiencing a mental health crisis. The program uses a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement appropriate interventions and offer help. Participants also learn about the risk factors and warning signs of illnesses such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and addictions. Since the program was introduced in the USA in 2008, more than 15,000 people — including first responders, teachers, leaders of faith communities, and caring citizens — have been trained as Mental Health First Aiders. Mental Health First Aid USA is disseminated by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

Mental Health First Aid delivered by persons in recovery is a win-win for all,” says Sherry Jenkins Tucker, Vice President of the DBSA board of directors and Executive Director of the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network. “It helps people with mental illness reach out and dispel myths and it helps the community understand that these people are competent to live full lives,” she explains.

Interested in Taking a Mental Health First Aid Course?
DBSA is offering a 12-hour Mental Health First Aid training course May 23-24 following the DBSA National Conference in Houston, Texas. To register for this course, visit the conference registration page. Note: registraton to the conference not required to register for this training.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

May 20th Deadline for June Peer Specialist Training in Bedford, MA

Are you are a person living with a mental illness who wants to use your experiences to assist your peers in moving forward to recovery? If so, working as a Peer Specialist may be the next step for you. This workforce is growing nationwide with expanding employment and volunteer opportunities. DBSA’s nationally-recognized Peer Specialist training and certification orients participants to a recovery philosophy, and prepares them to use peer-delivered services to enhance treatment strategies. Our curriculum meets competency standards established by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Mental Health Services and was developed in collaboration with Appalachian Consulting Group, Inc., pioneers of this concept.

The next DBSA Peer Specialist training course takes place June 20-24, 2011 in Bedford, Massachusetts.

Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial
Veterans Hospital
200 Springs Rd.
Bedford, MA

Registration Fee
$975 per person includes training materials, beverage breaks, and post-training certification testing.

Submitting an application does not guarantee that you will be selected. All applicants will be notified of their selection status no later than May 27, 2011.


esperanzaSelf-empowerment: Conquering the Stigma Within

DBSA is pleased to partner with bp Magazine/esperanza to bring you empowering and informative articles featured in the quarterly bp and esperanza magazines.

The below article, by Janice Arenofsky, is from the Winter 2011 issue of esperanza.

When Stacy G. was diagnosed with depression, the Calgary mother of two rejected the notion. In her family, mental illness was either a taboo topic or ridiculed with terms like “nut cake” or “nut job.” Stacy blamed her persistent sadness and negativity on a stressful job and pledged to banish this “crappy thing” from her life through sheer determination. Friends told her to think positively, turn herself over to God or push through it.

You see people every day thinking you should just ‘suck it up’ …,” says Stacy, referring to widely held views that depression is a moral failing or character flaw.

Then a close family friend died, and her “suck it up” strategy stopped working. Once a Type A personality, she became easily fatigued and unable to concentrate or cope with pressure. She couldn’t stop crying. She began to draw away from friends and family, in part from fear of their negative reactions.

A good friend at work talked to me once after I told her what was going on, and then I never heard from her again,” says Stacy, 42, who took medical leave from her job as a revenue analyst. “I pretty much shut everyone out, because I was afraid of what others would say or think.”

Like many people with depression, Stacy bought into long-held public attitudes toward the condition. Her self-stigma delayed her treatment, increased her isolation, warped her self-image and lowered her self-esteem—a closed-circuit loop that only deepens depression.

A range of research shows that when social stigma becomes internalized as self-stigma, individuals with depression are far less likely to seek treatment.

Click here to read the full article.

Depression and Bipolar Support AllianceWellness Tips from Peers

In the Facing Us Clubhouse, consumers who have found small ways to make a big difference in their recovery can share wellness tips like those listed here. Visit the Clubhouse to be inspired by your peers…and to pass on some of your own inspiration.

To access the Wellness Tracker visit the Facing Us Clubhouse
Joining the Facing Us Clubhouse is easy and free!

Do You Forget to Take Your Medication?
If so, set the alarm on your cell phone to go off everyday at the time when you need to take it. I do and it works like a charm!

My therapist taught me a grounding technique for when I’m feeling anxious: Think of 5 things in the moment that you can hear, think of 5 things in the moment you can see and think of 5 things in the moment that you can feel. I find this helps me clear my mind and relax. Even these few moments of not worrying are great

My Emotional "IQ"
My emotional IQ has been in need of a makeover. My self-talk consisted of negative verbiage at the end of the extreme-o-meter like I hate, I’m furious, I can’t stand… I recently began to substitute other words like, I’m upset, I don’t like, I’m sad… I’m pleasantly surprised at the nearly instantaneous relief from the pressure to do something about it. This has improved my ability to think more clearly and is so successful that it inspires me to keep applying it.

A Note about FacingUs.org
When you visit the Facing Us Clubhouse, you'll notice that several "rooms," including the room that houses wellness tips, require you to log in or create an account. Why is this necessary? Because in these sections, you are creating personal journals, books or a plan that is uniquely yours. So, we need a way to pull your unique information—like pulling your file out of a filing cabinet.

Joining the Facing Us Clubhouse is easy and FREE! We only need two things to create an account just for you—your e-mail and a password. Please be assured that we will not distribute or sell your information to anyone outside of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. The media room and creativity center on the site does not require registration. The only reason we require registration for other parts of the site is so that you can create your own personal wellness tools.