DBSA e-Update August 2013

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Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DBSA Ensures Peer Voice Is Heard in D.C. as National Council Hill Day Partner

The lived experience of a mood disorder must be represented everywhere decisions are being made that affect mental health care. To that end, DBSA is pleased to join NAMI, MHA, and other national behavioral health organizations as a National Council Hill Day 2013 partner. We are indeed stronger together and by joining forces and voices, we can make the most impact.

What Happens at Hill Day?
Each year, 500+ behavioral health executives, administrators, board members, consumers, and community stakeholders come to Washington, D.C. for the National Council’s Hill Day. Participants attend a full day of sessions on federal behavioral healthcare policy, followed by visits with their elected officials on Capitol Hill to advocate for better resources for mental health and addictions treatment.

What Can YOU Do at Hill Day?
Your voice at Hill Day makes a difference! Your advocacy efforts matter—face-to-face interactions between legislators and constituents are one of the most powerful ways to impact public policy. DBSA will be sending a contingent of staff, board members, and select chapter representatives to ensure the peer voice is heard. But our voices are stronger as a chorus and as such, we hope you’ll consider joining us if you are able to be in Washington, D.C., September 16-17.

Hill Day 2013
September 16-17, 2013
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Register free and book your hotel room today!
Be sure to select DBSA as your partner organization when you register.

Help us ensure the peer voice is loud and strong this September! Learn all the details about the National Council Hill Day 2013 and how you can be a part of it.


Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Allen Doederlein
DBSA President

Note from Allen

Join DBSA and advocate for yourself and your peers

Among the strategic choices that DBSA elected to pursue within our 2013-2017 strategic plan was advocacy: creating and promoting messages, structures, and practices that advance mental health, personal choice, and wellness. And one of the advocacy choice’s objectives—indeed, one of each of our strategic choices’ objectives—is to seek alignments and partnerships that will make our work stronger and further-reaching.

These elements of advocacy and partnership are coming together in an important way next month, as DBSA joins the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association as one of the partners in the National Council for Behavioral Health’s 2013 Hill Day on September 16-17, 2013 in Washington, DC. The largest mental health advocacy gathering of the year, National Council’s Hill Day is an excellent, well-conceived, free annual event that consists of a day of keynotes and presentations on mental health policy issues, followed by a day during which participants make actual presentations to their state legislators. I urge everyone who is able to visit Washington, DC on September 16-17, 2013 to register now and join the DBSA constituents (including several members of the DBSA national Board and staff) already planning to be there and make the peer voice heard!

Another new, and free, opportunity for the DBSA family to make sure that the peer voice is heard is the Care for Your Mind blog, where we have robust readership, but not as many peer contributors as I would expect. So please: let us hear from you! It’s not necessary to be a policy expert—we have posts from experts already—what we need is the peer voice and the real-life experience of accessing mental health care. What works, what doesn’t, what do you think, and what is your story? Share, and make sure the peer voice is heard!

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DBSA Madison County Ensures Peer Voices Heard in State Government

Many DBSA chapters offer a wide variety of community-based educational programming that expands beyond their support group(s). DBSA Madison County Chapter is a great example with state-focused advocacy efforts and local events. This year, several participants traveled to the state capital to meet with their Senators to advocate for mental health and housing. The chapter has also reached out to local High School and Jr. High School kids and their families letting them know there is support and hope for them. Additionally, the chapter planned a trivia night to raise money for the chapter and educate the public, as well as hosting a booth at the Healthy Living Exhibit.

Chapter leader, Nicole Meyers, shares, "We are a small group but we do our best to help anyone who needs our support."

Great work, DBSA Madison County!

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Support Peers through Work

When you designate DBSA as your chosen Community Health Charity, you support DBSA’s peer-focused educational programing and support network of 270 chapters and 700 support groups.

Community Health Charities (CHC) connects the American workplace to local and national health charities through employee giving. The goal—to provide employees an easy way to contribute to a broad range of charities dedicated to providing health-related services and programs in their local communities.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) appreciates all donations received through CHC campaigns and corporate employee giving programs. Below are a few samples of programs made possible through your gifts.

  • Print, online, and multi-media educational materials and wellness tools for individuals and family members seeking support
  • A library of resources, collection of print materials, and ongoing support for our chapters to enhance support group and community programming
  • Scholarships for individuals to participate in DBSA peer specialist core training and the DBSA 2013 National Conference

The most common way to give a charitable donation in a workplace campaign is through a payroll contribution. Check to see if your company participates the CHC campaign by visiting CHC’s site and viewing their corporate partners list. Participating is easy. If your company is a corporate partner of CHC you need only designate DBSA as your recipient charity by supplying your human resource department with our CFC Code: 12000. If your company is not a CHC corporate partner you can still check with your human resource department regarding your company’s workplace giving options. Most corporations will offer a company match up to a certain percentage of the employee donation. This has the potential to double your contribution and impact to DBSA.

The CHC campaign begins in the fall so be sure to check out your company’s employee giving options this summer. For more questions on workplace giving, please contact our development department by mail, email at development@dbsalliance.org, or phone at (800) 826-3632.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Positive Six: Make New Connections this August

We’re half way through the DBSA Positive Six Campaign—six months of small, positive changes to connect with your health and your community.

August introduces our New Connections Challenge. This month, we encourage you to reach out to four individuals to make a connection. Whether you start a conversation with someone new, send an email, or write a note, you may make a new friend or reconnect with an old one! Visit the August challenge page for inspiration, thought starters, conversation starters, and more!

Get Involved

  • Join the Positive Six event on Facebook and invite your friends to take the challenge, too!
  • Let us know about your successes! Post to the Facebook page to let us know how you’re meeting the challenge.
  • Join us on Facebook on the second Monday of September for free giveaways and inspiration to help you meet the next challenge!

September Sneak Peak

Don’t forget to join us the second Monday in September for the kickoff of the Bodies in Motion Challenge. We will be giving away Positive Six merchandise at the top of every hour (9 a.m.4 p.m. Central) on our Facebook page. The September challenge encourages you to get moving this month. You might start a walking club with a friend or infuse your household chores with a dance routine. However you put your body in motion, you’ll feel energized and have fun!

Power to the Positive

Prone to pessimism? Learn some creative ways to help you transform your negative thinking. Read the full article in esperanza Magazine.

Care for Your Mind: August Highlights

This month, CareForYourMind.org opens discussion on a number of important mental health topics to help educate you about what’s going on in Washington and how you can affect change, as well as to solicit your feedback on how the mental health system has affected you!

Will integrated care provide you with better care? by SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions
The Right to Refuse Treatment by Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D.
Planning to Protect Our Rights by DBSA
Does your community have mental health needs? by Network for Public Health Law
Help! I Need Somebody: Enrollment Assistance under the ACA by Enroll America

Visit the site and share your ideas and experiences to help create a mental health care system that works!

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Wellness Tips from Peers

Follow Your Heart and Intuition
Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams. Live the life you want to live. Be the person you want to remember years from now. Make decisions and act on them. Make mistakes, fall and try again. Even if you fall a thousand times, at least you won’t have to wonder what could have been. At least you will know in your heart that you gave your dreams your best shot.

I'm Not Alone
Realizing I’m not alone with Bipolar is helping me tremendously. I have hidden my true problems for a long time.

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

August 131
DBSA Positive Six New Connections Challenge

September 130
DBSA Positive Six Bodies in Motion Challenge

September 16-17
National Council Hill Day in D.C.