DBSA e-Update May 2011

Quick Links to Articles Below

May is Mental Health Month Everyday Heroes: A Senator’s Story
Inspire Others: Share Your Recovery Story Raleigh: Where Southern Charm Meets Peer Support
DBSA Merrimack Valley Shares the Importance of Support Groups Alternatives 2011 Call for Papers
DBSA Releases Results and Summary for “Medications & Perceptions” DSM-5 Draft Available for Public Comment until June 15th
"Lime-lighting" Mental Health Month Wellness Tips from Peers
June DBSA Peer Specialist Training Application Deadline is May 20

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

May is Mental Health Month

Mental Health Awareness Month is here! DBSA is launching several initiatives this month to increase awareness about mental health and support those individuals living with mood disorders. We’re:

  • Hosting a free Wellness Fair on May 19 for the Greater Houston community that focuses on a holistic approach to physical and mental health.
  • Conducting a day-long training for our chapter leaders that focuses on best practices for facilitating support groups and enriching their community programming.
  • Hosting our peer-centered national conference in Houston, Texas May 20 22, featuring educational and inspiring sessions for individuals living with, or affected by depression or bipolar disorder.
  • Releasing the results of a comprehensive online survey about consumer perspectives on psychiatric medications.
  • Launching a national video contest that highlights inspirational recovery stories so that others feel less along with their diagnoses and find encouragement that a better life awaits.

Below are a couple of suggestions for what you can do to recognize and be apart of this month’s celebration of mental health.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Inspire Others: Share Your Recovery Story

Each one of us has a story—stories of hope, fear, humor, struggle, and triumph—Stories of recovery. Put a new “face” on recovery when you share your personal journey towards wellness. Be a part of the 2011 Facing Us Video Contest in a way that's as unique as you are:

  • Deliver a personal monologue.
  • Sing it in a song.
  • Say it with a poem.
  • Act out a play with friends.
  • Use illustration or animation.
  • Create a comedy act.

Judging will be based on the impact of submissions rather than the quality of filming. So, get out your personal video cameras and have some fun! Between May 21, 2011 and September 5, 2011, you can submit your video online at www.FacingUsContest.org and have a chance to win cash prizes:

1st place = $500
2nd place = $300
3rd place = $200

Put your best face forward this summer! Visit www.FacingUsContest.org or download the flyer for more information!

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DBSA Merrimack Valley Shares the Importance of Support Groups

2010 Small Chapter Service Award winner, DBSA Merrimack Valley, has created an inspiring video on the impact their support group has had on several of their participants’ lives. Take a look to see just how important DBSA support groups can be on the road to recovery! We hope it will encourage many to take the important step to attend a support group near you. Thank you, DBSA Merrimack Valley for sharing this video with us.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DBSA Releases Results and Summary for “Medications & Perceptions” Online Consumer Survey

The survey was designed to examine attitudes about psychiatric medications among DBSA constituents and others that visit the DBSA website, DBSAlliance.org. DBSA conducted this survey as part of our ongoing efforts to communicate the viewpoints and experiences of individuals seeking recovery from depression and bipolar disorder. DBSA does not endorse or recommend the use or non-use of any treatment, medication, or resource mentioned in this survey or in reported survey results and comments. For advice about specific treatments or medications, individuals should consult with their physicians and/or mental health clinicians before choosing tools to aid in their recovery. Thank you to all who shared their views about this important topic. Visit www.DBSAlliance.org/SurveyCenter to view the summary, responses, and comments.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

"Lime-lighting" Mental Health Month

DBSA Arkansas member Shannon Jacuzzi’s ultimate goal is to “lime-light” the Empire State Building to promote mental health awareness. After losing her sister to suicide in 2004, she began working with DBSA Arkansas to develop the Lime Light Mental Health campaign. The mission of the campaign is to "lime-light" mental health awareness with a lime green awareness ribbon and lime-colored light bulbs during May, Mental Health Month, and throughout the year. The "lime-light" projects help to support organizations that educate the public about the brain, provide mental health services, and/or research treatments and causes of mental health stressors.

Shannon has successfully been able to work with companies in or around her hometown to light up their buildings with lime green lights. Her dream is that other international monuments will do the same. How can you help raise awareness of mental health issues? Visit Lime-light on Facebook and petition to Lime-light the Empire State Building! http://apps.facebook.com/causes/petitions/399
For more information on the Lime Light Mental Health campaign visit: http://www.limeaidpartnership.com/

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

June DBSA Peer Specialist Training Application Deadline is May 20

DBSA Peer Specialist training courses prepare people living with mental illnesses to use their experiences and their stories to assist their peers in moving toward healthy lives in recovery. Course content delivers a foundation in recovery principles, intervention techniques, and ethical practice. More than 1,000 individuals throughout the U.S. have enhanced their peer support skills and gone on to new volunteer and employment roles through DBSA Peer Specialist training and certification. Topics covered in the 5-day training course include effective listening, using dissatisfaction as an avenue for change, Peer Specialist ethics, Recovery Dialogues©, and much more.

A limited number of spaces remain for the next DBSA training course, June 20-24, 2011 in Bedford, Massachusetts (near Boston). Application deadline is May 20. For more information, contact DBSA’s Vice President of Training Lisa Goodale at LGoodale@DBSAlliance.org.

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.


Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Everyday Heroes: A Senator’s Story

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 Spring 2011 issue of esperanza.

When longtime Massachusetts legislator Bob Antonioni got elected at age 30, he earned a reputation among his colleagues in Boston for courtesy, quick thinking and hard work….Yet Antonioni found it harder and harder to carry on, skipping hearings and canceling lunch appointments as his undiagnosed depression grew worse. Finally, after nearly a decade in the senate, an aide found him slumped on his office floor, sobbing and hopeless….

Read the full article:

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Raleigh: Where Southern Charm Meets Peer Support

Get ready for the 5th Annual National Association of Peer Specialists Conference in Raleigh, NC! This opportunity to meet and network with a diverse group of Peer Specialists from across the U.S. is set for August 22-24, 2011 at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel. The early bird registration rate (before July 15) is $195–a price drop from last year. Plan now to attend and/or help spread the word to Peer Specialists in your area.

NAPS is also currently accepting proposals for conference workshops offering practical information and/or skills for Peer Specialists. For a complete list of topics and an application form, see www.naops.org.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

“Coming Home: Creating Our Own Communities of Wellness and Recovery” - Alternatives 2011 Call for Papers

The Alternatives Conference Advisory Committee, made up of consumer/survivor leaders from across the nation, is seeking proposals for 2011 Conference presentations. Each Alternatives Conference offers in-depth technical assistance on consumer/survivor-delivered services and self-help/recovery methods. Everyone is invited to consider becoming a presenter at Alternatives 2011. First-time presenters are especially welcome! Learning from each other is a clear example of self-help, mutual support and the principles of recovery in action! Proposals are due no later than May 31, 2011.

Alternatives 2011 takes place October 26-30, 2011 in Orlando, Florida and is being organized by the National Mental Health Self-Help Consumers' Clearinghouse. For additional information, visit www.Alternatives2011.org, or send an e-mail message to info@mhself.org.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DSM-5 Draft Available for Public Comment until June 15th

Proposed changes to the DSM-5 organizational structure and the latest proposed revisions to diagnostic criteria will be available for review and comment at www.DSM5.org from May 4 to June 15, 2011.

Health professionals, consumers of mental health services and family members are invited to visit the site to review and comment. Last year’s period of public comment to proposed diagnostic criteria yielded more than 8,000 written responses, all of which were reviewed by the DSM-5 work group members. Based on last year’s web-submitted comments, the feedback we received supported a move to identify autism spectrum disorder as a single diagnostic category, add severity measures, and differentiate it from other developmental disorders. Additionally, the concerns we heard about the emotional trauma children suffer when exposed to extreme adversity informed the attention that DSM-5 will pay to developmental trauma disorders.

DSM-5 remains a work in progress. The DSM-5 Task Force and Work Groups have spent the past three years reviewing and refining diagnostic criteria based on scientific review and public comments. The first of two phases of field trials is now underway to test some of the proposed diagnostic criteria in real-world clinical settings. Publication of the final DSM-5 is expected in May 2013. For more information, visit www.DSM5.org.

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!

Get out of the house!
Resist the urge to isolate yourself. If you just can’t bear to be around people, at least go outside and walk around the block, get some fresh air.

Let Go
Let go of the hurtful past. It will only hinder you from creating and cherishing the precious moments in your life.

This too shall pass. Hold on and hope that tomorrow will bring more than sunshine…even some joy!

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.