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DBSA e-Update Newsletter - July 2007

Welcome to the July 2007 edition of DBSA’s e-Update!  In this issue, we have new features to make viewing, reading and printing e-Update easier! For example, the navigation drop-down box at the top of each page allows you to jump between sections. If you would like to print the entire issue of e-Update, simply select "July 2007 DBSA e-Update" from the drop-down box, select "Go" and the full version will display in your web browser.

If you have any feedback for us, please e-mail Thanks for reading!

DBSA 2007 National
Conference Information

WIN: Click here to enter for a chance to win a FREE three-night stay at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa!
Advanced Conference Registration rates - as low as $95 - has been extended through July 23rd. Be sure to register today!
CONGRATULATIONS: Kristen S. from Apopka, Fla., winner of last month's iPod content!
2007 Conference Logo Midsize

DBSA e-Update July 2007: Events & Programs

Conference Spotlight—Renowned Doctors to Lead Sessions

The DBSA National Conference promises presentations by many renowned medical professionals, and among them are Anthony J. Ernst, PhD, William B. Lawson, MD, PhD, DFAPA, and Greg Simon, MD, MPH. All three doctors will take part in the “Ask the Doctors” panel discussion on the closing day of the conference, Sunday, August 12.

In addition, they will be leading individual workshops. Dr. Ernst will present “Recovery Times Two: Substance Use and Mental Health” on Friday, August 10, and Saturday, August 11. This session will address the challenges of—and strategies for—living with the dual diagnosis of a mood disorder and a substance use disorder. On Saturday, August 11, Dr. Lawson will lead the “New Research in Treatment” workshop, which will explore the latest advancements in the research and treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. Dr. Simon will offer the workshop, “Anxiety: Trigger and Symptom,” on both Friday, August 11, and Saturday, August 12; he will suggest constructive ways to lessen the severity and frequency of anxiety. Also on Friday, Dr. Simon will co-host “Getting the Most Out of the Time You Have with Your Clinician” with DBSA President Sue Bergeson.

Anthony J. Ernst, PhD, is the director of Technology Transfer for SAMHSA's Co-Occurring Center for Excellence (COCE) at CDM Group, Inc., and an active member of COCE’s senior team. COCE was created to help SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) provide states, local communities and individual health care providers with the information, technology resources and training they need to care for people with co-occurring health problems, such as substance use and mental illness. Dr. Ernst’s experience and accolades include

  • More than 25 years’ experience in the mental health and substance abuse fields
  • Teaching awards as adjunct faculty at the University of Texas and the University of Illinois
  • Presenter at many national and state conferences
  • Manager of both inpatient and outpatient behavioral health programs, as well as a private practice
  • Licensed chemical dependency counselor
  • Licensed advanced clinical social worker

William B. Lawson, MD, PhD, DFAPA, is professor and chair of Howard University College of Medicine and Hospital’s psychiatry department, as well as director of its Mood Research Program. Dr. Lawson’s honors and awards include

  • Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (DFAPA)
  • Principal investigator for NIMH’s $6.5 million award to Howard University’s five-year Mood Research Program
  • Recently-appointed consulting and contributing editor to Current Psychiatry and Journal of Dual Diagnosis
  • Past president of Black Psychiatrists of America
  • Past chair of the National Medical Association’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Section
  • Member of DBSA’s Scientific Advisory Board

Greg Simon, MD, MPH, is a psychiatrist and senior scientific investigator at the Center for Health Studies’ Group Health Cooperative in Seattle. He is also chair of DBSA’s Scientific Advisory Board. Among his other honors are 

  • Publications in many scientific journals, including a study in this month’s American Journal of Psychiatry
  • Editorial positions with Current Opinion in Psychiatry, General Hospital Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine
  • 2002 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Senior Scholar Health Services Research Award for lifetime contributions to mental health services research
  • 2002 APA/Eli Lilly “Welcome Back” Award for national contributions to improving depression care
  • 2005 DBSA Gerald R. Klerman Senior Investigator Award

For information on other DBSA National Conference sessions and presenters, click here. 

June e-Update iPod Winner

Congratulations to Kristin S. from Apopka, Fla., the winner of last month's National Conference iPod contest!

DBSA e-Update July 2007: Advocacy

Help Pass New Postpartum Depression Law -
Immediate Action Needed

Last month in Washington, DC, Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), sponsor of the Melanie Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act (H.R. 20), met with DBSA President Sue Bergeson to say that this law may pass the U.S. House of Representatives in the next couple of months. But he said he needs our help!

For the past four years, this legislation has languished in Congress, but a House subcommittee recently approved H.R. 20. And before the full House of Representatives can vote on it, it must be approved by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. If the bill passes this committee, it almost certainly will pass the House and be on its way to becoming law!

Along with H.R. 20, another important piece of legislation is pending in the U.S. Senate, the MOTHERS Act (S. 1375). Both laws would fund programs and services that would help women afflicted by postpartum depression and their families.

Even if you’ve already sent a letter to your senators and representatives, please write members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and ask them to support Representative Bobby Rush by voting for his Melanie Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act! Click here to send a letter now.

To learn more about the Melanie Stokes Postpartum Depression Act, click here.
To learn more about postpartum depression, click here.

DBSA e-Update July 2007: Peer Services

How Peer Support Helps—Solid Proof

eUpdate0707_Peer"Who then can so softly bind up the wound of another as he who has felt the same wound himself?" Those who participate in peer support programs know this quote by Thomas Jefferson to be true. But solid research also shows that participation in peer support yields

  • improvement in a person’s symptoms and fewer hospitalizations1
  • larger social support networks2
  • enhanced self-esteem and social functioning3
  • a decrease in the length of people’s hospital stays4
  • lower services costs overall5

More evidence exists as well. According to a five-year, SAMHSA-funded study that compared participants in peer services programs to those receiving traditional services6, those in peer services programs showed greater improvement in well-being (including recovery, social inclusion, empowerment, quality of life, meaning of life and hope).

A 2005 Canadian report, Consumer/Survivor Initiatives (CSIs): Impact, Outcomes & Effectiveness, found that peer support programs improve people's health outcomes and support recovery, as well as reduce the use of hospital, emergency and other expensive services. It also found that

  • the mean number of days participants spent in the hospital dropped from about 48 to 4 days after becoming involved with a peer support program
  • peer support programs saved more than $12 million in reduced hospital stays for three hospitals over one year’s time
  • people with mental health problems who described themselves as "lonely" and were partnered with a peer mentor used an average of $20,300 less per person in hospital and emergency room services the year after they were discharged

1 Galanter, M. (1988). Research on social supports and mental illness. American Journal of Psychiatry, 145(10), 1270-1272.
2 Rappaport, J., et al. (1992). Mutual help mechanisms in the empowerment of former mental patients. In D. Saleebey (Ed.), The strengths perspective in social work practice (84-97). White Plains, NY: Longman.
3 Markowitz, F., DeMasi, M., Knight, E., & Solka, L. (1996). The role of self-help in the recovery process. Paper presented at the 6th Annual Conference on State Mental Health Agency Research and Program Evaluation, Arlington, VA.
4 Dumont, J., & Jones, K. (2002, spring). Findings from a consumer/survivor defined alternative to psychiatric hospitalization. Outlook, 4-6.
5 Dumont, J., & Jones, K. (2002, spring). Findings from a consumer/survivor defined alternative to psychiatric hospitalization. Outlook, 4-6.
6 Campbell, J., (2004). Consumer/survivor-operated self help programs: A technical report. Washington, DC. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

DBSA e-Update July 2007: Chapter Update

eUpdate0707_ChaptersSupport Groups Now in All 50 States

This June, a support group in Bennington, Vt., made DBSA history: for the first time, there are support groups in all 50 states. DBSA welcomes the Bennington group and wishes it much success!

>> Interested in learning how to provide support?

New DBSA Chapters in June

DBSA Putnam (Conn.)
DBSA McDuffie and Warren Counties (Ga.)
DBSA Owensboro Midtown (Ky.)
DBSA Big Rapids (Mich.)
DBSA Bennington (Vt.)

Chapters Awarded Grants for Hospital Outreach Programs

Last month, DBSA awarded grants and resource kits to 21 chapters for their local outreach hospitalization programs. Chapters across the country have partnered with hospitals to provide much-needed education and support for patients and their families. Hospitalization is one of the most difficult experiences a person with a mental illness can have. And for many people, it is the first time they or their family have come face-to-face with the reality of depression or bipolar disorder.

The chapter-developed programs vary by location, but some examples include:

  • Meetings for family members immediately following hospital visiting hours to help them understand how best to support their loved ones
  • Meetings with patients while in the hospital to explain the benefits of DBSA support groups and encourage them to participate when they leave the hospital
  • Meetings with hospital staff to introduce them to DBSA and its services so that they can pass on this information to their patients
  • Distribution of resource materials to patients and family members
  • Follow-up with family members and patients once they return home

Chapters that received these grants are:

DBSA Humboldt County (Calif.)
DBSA Colorado Springs (Colo.)
DBSA Northwest Connecticut (Conn.)
DBSA New Directions Delaware (Del.)
DBSA Gold Coast (Fla.)
DBSA Coles County (Ill.)
DBSA Madison County (Ill.)
DBSA Southern Illinois (Ill.)
DBSA NE Indiana (Ind.)
DBSA Topeka (Kan.)
DBSA Baltimore County (Md.)
DBSA Howard County (Md.)
DBSA Southbridge-Sturbridge (Mass.)
DBSA North Mississippi (Miss.)
DBSA Flathead Area (Mont.)
DBSA Memphis (Tenn.)
DBSA Fort Hood-Killeen (Tex.)
DBSA Greater Houston (Tex.)
DBSA Northern Virginia (Va.)
DBSA Tacoma (Wash.)
DBSA Waukesha (Wis.)

Need support?
Find a support group in your area or start a new support group for people living with mood disorders in your community!

eUpdate0707_JoinDBSA e-Update July 2007: Join the Fun(d)

Festivities in Florida—Fireworks, Food and Friends

The DBSA National Conference’s Friends Reception on Friday evening, August 10, stands to be a magical night of fireworks, food, drink and laughs and more. The highly anticipated event allows conference attendees to reminisce with old friends and meet new ones, with the proceeds benefiting DBSA’s Chapter Leadership Forum (CLF) Scholarship Fund. 

Each $50 ticket purchased helps one of DBSA’s 400-plus local chapter leaders attend a DBSA Conference and the Chapter Leadership Forum that takes place the day before the conference. CLF helps DBSA chapter representatives improve their leadership skills so they can more effectively achieve positive change in their communities through advocacy, community outreach, education and support.

The reception also provides an opportunity for attendees and supporters to get to know DBSA’s national staff, many of whom will be on hand to answer questions and share ideas and concerns.

Sharing hope, help and support at the Friends Reception will help friends in a DBSA chapter do the same in their communities. Tickets can be purchased along with conference registration or by clicking here. And clicking on the card below will send friends an e-card invitation to join the fun … and join the fund!

Special Friends Reception e-Card

Click the e-card below to tell a friend!  Those unable to attend the conference can still be part of the fun(d) by clicking here.

Friends Reception eCard

DBSA e-Update July 2007: WebConnections

DBSA to Offer Event-Based Real-Time Chat

Starting August 1, DBSA’s online chat will shift its focus to exclusively event-based topics. These chats will occur twice a month and will remain free of charge. The complete schedule and RSVP instructions will be posted on

Chat sessions will be divided into four topic areas:

  • DBSA Chat
  • Ask the Docs! Chat
  • Recovery Chat 
  • DBSA Author Chat

DBSA Chat will offer information on DBSA programs and initiatives. The hope is to hear our constituents’ feedback on to how to better guide our programs and goals. Sessions will include: 

  • What Is a Support Group and How Do I Start One?
  • Who are Peer Specialists?
  • Advocacy 101

Ask the Docs! Chat is returning! Some of the nation’s leading medical experts in the field of mood disorders will lead sessions on topics such as the following: 

  • new research and treatment technologies
  • postpartum depression
  • how to manage your symptoms

Recovery Chat sessions will address recovery-focused tools such as psychiatric service dogs, journaling for wellness and much more.

DBSA Author Chats feature authors recognized for writing about mood disorders or general wellbeing. The next one in the series is Wednesday, July 25 with Lana Castle, author of Finding Your Bipolar Muse: How to Master Droughts and Manic Floods and Access Your Creative Power.

With the introduction of our event-based chat sessions, DBSA will only be offering our chat room services for specific events. As of August 1, 2007, non-event-based chat sessions will no longer be available. This decision has been made to ensure that DBSA continues to provide a safe environment for individuals looking for information and support. More information and resources can be found on

Calendar of Online Chat Events
(Time of each event to be confirmed)

July 25—Author Chat: Lana Castle

August 8—No Chat (DBSA 2007 National Conference and Chapter Leadership Forum, August 9-12)
August 22—DBSA Chat: What is a Support Group and How Do I Start One?

September 12—Ask The Docs! (Topic to be confirmed)
September 26—Author Chat (Author to be announced soon)

October 10—DBSA Chat: Advocacy 101
October 24—Recovery Chat: Psychiatric Service Dogs

November 14—Ask The Docs! (Topic to be confirmed)
November 28—Author Chat (Author to be confirmed)

December 12—DBSA Chat: 2007 Review and a Look Ahead to 2008 with DBSA President Sue Bergeson
December 26—No Chat (DBSA’s National Office closed for the holiday)

New on DBSA Website: A Unique Cultural, Educational Event

Last fall, DBSA hosted a unique educational event in Chicago that is now available to anyone, anywhere as an online presentation at the DBSA Recovery Education Center. The multi-faceted event, titled “Laugh & Learn,” was targeted at breaking down the culturally-based stigma of mood disorders and increasing awareness of their impact and prevalence in the Latino community. The online presentation includes

  • Video clips of Chicago comedian Alex Ortiz’s performance
  • Video of the panel discussion featuring a community advocate, a medical professional and a depression survivor, as well as DBSA's president and depression survivor, Sue Bergeson 
  • A transcript of the Q&A session in which attendees asked questions of the panel 

The DBSA Recovery Education Center is also home to a variety of other downloadable multimedia tools—such as podcasts—for individuals, health care professionals and DBSA chapters.  

June e-Update iPod Winner

Congratulations to Kristin S. from Apopka, Fla., the winner of last month's National Conference iPod contest!

DBSA e-Update July 2007: Training

DBSA Educates Psychiatry Residents at “Top 100” Hospital

On June 21, DBSA staff presented a training session to psychiatry residents at the University of Connecticut Health Center (Farmington, Conn.). The Health Center is one of only 15 teaching hospitals to be named by Solucient this year as one of the nation’s top 100 hospitals. The training—on the principles of recovery—was part of an educational series during the first week of the residents’ academic year, when they are first called “doctors.”

eUpdate0707_TrainingDBSA Director of Training Matt Mattson, MS, and Director of Scientific Affairs Brenda Bergeson, MD, presented the “Making Recovery Real” session. This training was a follow-up to “The Seven Dirty Words” offered in May at the same location. The University of Connecticut’s psychiatry residents learned more about

  • the concept of recovery from severe mental illness
  • how to practice recovery-based care and its advantages for both consumers and providers
  • how peer specialists can contribute to recovery

In the coming months, DBSA will be offering similar provider training to doctors across the country. For more information on DBSA’s Making Recovery Real Training Services, click here.

DBSA e-Update July 2007: In the News

DBSA Gives and Receives Special Awards

Over the last two months, DBSA has been both giver and receiver of special honors. In late May, DBSA awarded its new Hope Award and the 2006 Klerman Awards—the organization’s highest honors—to five top researchers and clinicians at the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif.

The DBSA Hope Award recognizes the lifetime achievements of clinicians who have helped improve the lives of those living with mood disorders. Its first-ever recipients, Frederick K. Goodwin, MD, and Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD, are also currently in the news for the new second edition of their standard medical text on bipolar disorder, Manic-Depressive Illness.


Dr. Goodwin’s professional achievements include the following:

  • current psychiatry professor, George Washington University Medical Center
  • former director, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • one of only 12 psychiatrists listed in The Best Doctors in the U.S.

Dr. Jamison’s accomplishments and honors include:

  • current psychiatry professor, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • one of Time magazine’s 1997 “heroes of medicine”
  • renowned author of several bestsellers such as An Unquiet Mind and Touched with Fire

The 2006 Gerald L. Klerman Awards honor researchers and clinicians whose work contributes to understanding the causes, diagnosis and treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. Dr. Ned Kalin, Hedberg Professor and chair of the University of Wisconsin Medical School’s psychiatry department, accepted the 2006 Klerman Senior Investigator Award. And the 2006 Klerman Junior Investigator Award went to two clinicians: Dr. Martha Sajatovic, professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and Dr. Helen Verdeli, member of the Mental Health Advisory Committee for the Millennium Villages Project of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and new member of DBSA’s Scientific Advisory Board.


To read the news release on the Hope and Klerman Awards, click here.

DBSA President Sue BergesonOn June 27, DBSA President Sue Bergeson was honored by the Chicago District of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) as Public Citizen of the Year. NASW is the world’s largest organization of professional social workers, with more than 8,000 in Illinois alone. The Public Citizen of the Year Award honors a non-social worker who

  • Exemplifies the social work profession with outstanding service to individuals served by social workers
  • Reflects the highest ethical standards in his/her field of endeavor
  • Takes risks and enlists public support for improved human services
  • Advocates for and contributes to the public’s awareness of social problems

For more information on the NASW’s Illinois Chapter, visit