DBSA e-Update January 2013

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Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

New Educational Resources from DBSA

DBSA proudly adds four newly updated and reprinted booklets, published throughout 2012, to our educational brochure store. Be sure to check out these in-demand titles:

Individuals can place orders for the brochures directly in the brochure store, while chapter leaders can request bulk orders of these new materials through the latest order form.

DBSA is committed to providing a diverse range of educational materials designed to answer your questions and meet your needs, wherever you are in your wellness journey. During 2013, we’ll be releasing a YouTube video series that explores the many facets of depression through moving personal stories from DBSA support group members and other peers. Another series of educational videos will feature conversations with peers and experts about bipolar disorder. These bipolar education videos will make their way onto YouTube in the next few months and chapters will receive DVD copies as part of a bipolar education kit mailed out to chapters this spring. Stay tuned for more education and resources to come in the new year!

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

2013 DBSA National Conference Scholarships

DBSA is now accepting scholarship applications for the 2013 DBSA National Conference: Stronger Together. Don’t miss these opportunities to save on these three days of hope, help, and inspiration. There are currently two available scholarship types, and another opportunity may be added soon:

  • Peer and Family Scholarships, sponsored by Rebecca’s Dream, enable peers to attend the conference together with a family member. The scholarships include two full conference registrations (Friday–Sunday) for a peer and their family member (a $350 value), plus an additional $200 to help defray travel costs. The deadline to apply for these scholarships is Monday, April 1. Read more about the Rebecca’s Dream scholarships and apply online.
  • DBSA also sponsors scholarships for a number of volunteers willing to aid in our event marketing efforts and to support our event staff on-site at the conference. Scholarships include one full conference registration (Friday–Sunday) (a $175 value). The deadline to apply for volunteer scholarships is March 4. Read more about volunteer scholarships and apply online.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Allen Doederlein
DBSA President

Note from Allen

I’m fortunate in that I don’t experience symptoms of depression very much anymore, although depressive symptoms have been a part of my life for more than two decades now. I am thankful not to suffer so acutely as I did earlier in my life, especially from about 2002 to 2006, when I was quite debilitated by depression. Yet I do have what I’d characterize as “flare-ups” (although perhaps “flare-downs” would be more accurate), and I’m experiencing one of those right now.

And I’m reminded: depression is awful.

Many of you reading this know all too well that depression is awful, and so why do I share that sentiment today? Well, for several reasons:

  • Talking about depression seems, for me, to take away some of its power. If I share what’s going on—contrary to the instincts of my depressed mind, which usually wants to isolate itself—I tend to feel better and more ready to fight the depressed mood.
  • I want to remind everyone that depression can happen to anyone—indeed, I sometimes feel surprised that I experience depression, since my life is pretty darn good. But depression isn’t always reasonable. Depression doesn’t discriminate.
  • Most importantly, I want you to know that I am a peer. When I work to sustain, evolve, and grow DBSA’s efforts to improve the lives of people who have mood disorders, I do it from a very personal place. I know what it’s like—how awful it can be, and how great it can be—and I am committed to helping others, and myself, lead healthier, happier lives.

Even when experiencing depression, I cling to the belief that together, we, a community of peers, can make wellness a reality for more people. Please be part of this journey in 2013: participate with one of our chapters across the country, continue to stay connected on DBSA’s Facebook page, and join us for our national conference in Miami this June.

Together, we can!

– Allen Doederlein, DBSA President

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Mental Health Research from Home

How do families get along when a parent is experiencing depressive episodes? Researchers at California State University are interested in knowing how your family relationships are affected by depression. The Feelings in the Family Study seeks mothers who experience depression to participate in a phone interview and mail-in questionnaires to help researchers understand the effects of depression on the family. Participating mothers will be compensated with $25 for their time. Learn more about mental health research and sign up to be matched with relevant studies at www.WeSearchTogether.org.

WeSearchTogether Online
Don’t just wait for a study that interests you—share your thoughts about where mental health research should go next. WeSearchTogether will be posting questions via Facebook and Twitter to find out what direction you think mental health research should take. Like and follow the WeSearchTogether social media pages to share your answers for a chance to win free swag throughout the month of February.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Become a Part of the New Peer Specialist Workforce

DBSA Peer Specialist training course March 4–8, 2013 / Chicago, Illinois

Are you are a person living with a mental health condition 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. The nationally-recognized DBSA Peer Specialist Training course orients participants to a recovery philosophy and prepares them to use peer-delivered services to enhance treatment strategies. Our curriculum meets competency standards for peer support technicians established by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Mental Health Services.

Apply Today
All applications must be received by DBSA no later than February 6, 2013. Download the application. Course fees of $975 per person include training materials, beverage breaks, and post-training certification testing.

Please note:  Each individual state or service delivery system sets its own peer specialist training and certification standards. Please check applicable requirements with your state certification body before applying for the training course.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Ask the Doc: Submit Your Questions

In 2013, DBSA will continue to bring you monthly answers to questions you have for the distinguished and caring professionals on DBSA’s Scientific Advisory Board. But we can’t do it without you.

Got a nagging question you want to ask a doc? Submit your questions online for a chance to get the answer. Check the next DBSA eUpdate to see if your question was chosen.

In the meantime, take a look through our new Ask the Doc feature page, a comprehensive archive of past Ask the Doc features which may already be home to the answers you seek.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

A New Yorker’s State of Mind

Columnist Bruce Goldstein talks about recognizing the highs of bipolar disorder in order to prepare for the lows in this article from BP Magazine: 

My wife recognized it. My friends warned me about it. My psychiatrist was concerned about it. But I didn’t do anything about it, because “it” was me—the happy-go-lucky, hypomanic me that I hadn’t seen in a long time. I wanted to catch up. Feed off his creativity. I missed the guy and his grandiosity. He was always the life of the party. There was just one thing: I never knew how long he—I mean me—was going to stay. And it always ended badly.

Read the full article at BP Magazine.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DBSA Ambassador Successes

DBSA Ambassadors accomplished much success in 2012 since the program’s launch this past June. In six months, DBSA welcomed 24 individuals, in addition to staff ambassadors, into the program. Collectively, 2012 DBSA ambassadors raised more than $12,000 to assist people living with mood disorders. Carrying that momentum into 2013, DBSA invites you to join our ambassador efforts to reduce stigma, inspire wellness, and raise money toward the DBSA mission.

To learn more about our DBSA Ambassador program, visit our website or check out individual pages for current DBSA Ambassadors.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Wellness Tips from Peers

Never a failure, always a lesson.

Something to remember
I may not be perfect but parts of me are pretty awesome!

Visit the Facing Us Clubhouse to get more tips, create your own tips, track your wellness, and connect with peers. Joining the Facing Us Clubhouse is easy and free.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Save the Date

February 6, 2013
Application Deadline
DBSA Peer Specialist Core Training
Chicago, IL

March 4–8, 2013
DBSA Peer Specialist Core Training
Chicago, IL

March 4
Application Deadline
Volunteer Scholarships for DBSA 2013 National Conference
Miami, FL

April 1
Application Deadline
DBSA Peer + Family Scholarships for DBSA 2013 National Conference
Miami, FL

June 14–17, 2013
DBSA 2013 National Conference: Stronger Together
Miami, FL