DBSA e-Update December 2011

Quick Links to Articles Below

Celebrities Join DBSA Honorary Advisory Board
Support DBSA and Your Gift Will Be Matched
DBSA 2012 Events Update
Have a Little Faith
DBSA 2010 Annual Report Released
Wellness Tips from Peers

Celebrities Unlimited by Mental Illness Join DBSA Honorary Advisory Board

DBSA is immensely honored to have six talented and inspiring individuals as members of our inaugural Honorary Advisory Board.


Each of these individuals exemplifies that people living with mental health conditions can and do live extraordinary lives unlimited by a diagnosis. We are grateful for their support of DBSA and extremely appreciative of the work each has done to increase the understanding of, and to reduce the stigma associated with, depression and bipolar disorder. Read the press release.

DBSA Fundraiser

Support DBSA and Your Gift Will Be Matched

DBSA has been given an extraordinary opportunity to raise much needed funds between now and the end of the year—money we need to provide the programs and services that mean so much to all of us.

You may have already received an email from our president, Allen Doederlein, explaining the very generous offer that several DBSA supporters made earlier this month.  To show their support, they have vowed to match any gift made between now and the end of the year dollar for dollar, all the way to a grand total of $100,000! A $5.00 gift automatically becomes $10.00, a $10.00 gift becomes $20.00, and so on...

This is an incredible opportunity for all of us to reach out as ambassadors for DBSA and work together to meet our fundraising goals for 2011. The more we raise, the more people we can reach in 2012 with the support they need. Please help us spread the word by sharing this exciting news with your family, friends, co-workers and anyone who you feel would be interested in supporting us.

Check out the DBSAlliance.org homepage to see our progress over the coming weeks and make a donation. We are already almost halfway there!  If we all work together we will reach our goal of $100,000 and turn that into $200,000!

If you have questions, please contact Steve Birkhauser at sbirkhauser@DBSAlliance.org or call (800) 826-3632 x 161.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DBSA 2012 Events Update

Many of you have been inquiring into plans for DBSA's 2012 National Conference. Thanks to all for your patience as we've solidified plans for DBSA events in 2012 and 2013.

This past year, we've worked hard via focus groups, surveys, and conference calls with the DBSA community to learn more about your needs. We've learned a great deal—thank you all for your candid feedback and input—and we're ready to start acting on those lessons. In January, DBSA President Allen Doederlein will share with you DBSA's strategic goals and initiatives for 2012, and our events will play a prominent role.

We're excited to share a new direction for our national events. Starting in 2012, we will begin alternating the focus of our events to be on chapter-focused, regional events in the even years, and our national conference in the odd years. Here are some of the ways we hope to connect with you at events in 2012:

DBSA "Partners in Mission" Regional Presentations & Listening Sessions
DBSA will work with a local chapter to host "Partners in Mission" presentations in 6-8 regions throughout the country in 2012. Dates and host chapters are being finalized, but currently, presentations are planned in the following states: District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Oregon, New York, and Pennsylvania. During these events, DBSA management will outline DBSA's current and future initiatives and, equally important, learn about issues important to, and initiatives led by, chapters within the region. Together we can have the biggest impact!

DBSA Consumer-Clinician Consensus Conference
Plans are underway to host a consensus conference in Chicago, IL, on April 13, 2012, that will engage members of the consumer, clinical, and provider communities in a dialogue about critical issues facing the mental health community. More details coming soon! (Date subject to change)

DBSA 2012 Chapter Leadership Forum (CLF)
Save the date for Wednesday, October 10, 2012, to be part of the DBSA 2012 Chapter Leadership Forum. As a benefit of chapter affiliation, five members of any DBSA chapter can apply for free attendance. Join us in Portland, Oregon, as we learn from each others' successes!

And, don't forget to mark your calendars now for the DBSA 2013 National Conference and Chapter Leadership Forum in Miami, Florida!

Save the Dates: 
Wednesday, October 10, 2012: DBSA Chapter Leadership Forum 
Friday, June 14, 2013: DBSA Chapter Leadership Forum
Saturday, June 15, 2013 through Monday, June 17, 2013: DBSA 2103 National Conference

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Have a Little Faith

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 By Robin L. Flanigan, is from the fall 2011 issue of bp magazine.

Marja B. found God at her public library. Born into a Christian family, she went to Sunday School because it was expected. As a teenager, she turned her back on religion. By the time she turned 40, with a recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder after two decades of uncontrolled symptoms, she was ready for a spiritual quest. So she went to the library.

“I looked up ‘God’ in the card catalog and found some books,” recalls Marja. “I thought, ‘OK, I can believe this. Now what?’ Then I got a hold of a Bible and it was like God was something completely new to me. I could see the truth in so many things I read. I just reached out and had to surrender.”

Faith and spirituality—whether formal or informal, and regardless of doctrine—can be an immense source of strength and comfort when dealing with the highs and lows of bipolar disorder. Faith traditions provide a message of hope, a blueprint for living and a way to interpret the world, which can bring a sense of control and serenity when times are tough…

Read the full article

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DBSA 2010 Annual Report Released

In 2010, DBSA celebrated 25 years of helping people with depression and bipolar disorder accelerate their own unique journeys towards recovery. As we celebrated DBSA’s mission and programs—begun by visionary volunteers who understood the extraordinary power of peer support—we also navigated the organizational challenges of decreased and changing revenues in a tough economic climate. DBSA ended 2010 with a modest surplus despite the economic downturn and decreased revenues from key partners. This was achieved through pragmatic budget cuts and a 50% reduction in staff. DBSA’s leadership team ensured that, even as there was a reduction in resources and staffing, we nevertheless responsibly maintained our ability "to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders." DBSA's Board and staff are committed to continuing to further the fiscal health of the organization through more efficient use of resources and an aggressive campaign to increase contributed income and diversify revenue streams. (Download PDF of DBSA 2010 Annual Report)

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Wellness 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!

One Day at a Time
Worry is a big part of my depression. I worry about the future constantly. I try to remind myself to take things “one day at a time” and not worry about tomorrow. When my depression is really bad, sometimes I say, “one hour at a time,’ or “10 minutes at a time.” Breaking tasks down into smaller time blocks makes my problems seem more manageable.

If you take a walk or do an activity, pay attention to small details with each of your senses. Notice the colors, sounds, touch. If you are using your senses to notice these details, you won’t have room to think about negative things

Treat Yourself
Treat yourself to a business card size piece of dark chocolate 2-3 times a week. This will give you health benefits and give you a good feeling. Remember moderation is the key!

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.

Do you have a question for a mental healthcare provider? We will be accepting questions for our clinical panel and will publish a select question and answer in each of the DBSA monthly eUpdates. Submit your question here by January 6th to be considered for the January eUpdate.

Save the Date


October 10, 2012
DBSA Chapter Leadership Forum 

June 14, 2013
DBSA Chapter Leadership Forum

June 15, 2013 June 17, 2013
DBSA 2103 National Conference