DBSA e-Update May 2012

Quick Links to Articles Below

May is Mental Health Month

DBSA Mental Health First Aid Training in Urbana, IL
How are You Feeding Kindness this May? DBSA Invites You to Chapter Leadership Forum 2012
DBSA Presented the 2011 Klerman Awards DSM-5 Draft Criteria Available for Public Comment
Ask the Doctor Q & A The Road to Recovery
A Note from Allen Wellness Tips from Peers
Applications Available for DBSA Peer Specialist Training Save the Date!

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

May is Mental Health Month

Mental Health Month is here and DBSA encourages you to be a part of this month’s celebration of mental health! Below are a couple of suggestions for what you can do to spread the word and make a difference:

  • Drop off some mental health literature at local libraries, clinics, or doctors offices.

  • Take a confidential online mental health screening and/or encourage your loved one’s to do so.

  • Be a part of the DBSA Positive 6 (+6) Campaign and do something small that will make a big impact!

  • Visit the Facing Us Clubhouse at www.FacingUs.org to find inspiration and support for a life of health and well-being.

  • Use the DBSA Wellness Tracker to monitor, daily or weekly, the many things that influence your health—body and mind.

  • Submit us your Story of Life Unlimited.

  • Spread the word that May is mental health month on your Facebook page and “go lime” by adding a lime ribbon to your Facebook profile picture here.

  • Reach out to someone you feel might be struggling with their mental health to let them know they are not alone and help them connect with local resources.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

How are You Feeding Kindness this May?

As part of the DBSA Positive 6 (+6) Campaign we are challenging you to participate in the May Feeding Kindness Challenge by reaching out to someone this month to share a meal. Whether it is sharing a brown bag lunch with someone, inviting a friend over to dinner, or donating canned goods to a local food pantry, you will certainly brighten someone’s day!

Visit the May Feeding Kindness Challenge page on www.Positive6.org to find inspiration in May’s challenge thought starters, read educational articles, listen to a podcast, chuckle at the challenge cartoon, discover healthy recipes, and much more!

Here are some other ways you can be a part of +6:

And don’t forget to join us June 1st for the kick off of the June Positive Change Challenge. We will be giving away +6 merchandiseat the top of every hour (9am-5pm Central) on our Facebook page.

Join us now through October! Have fun and do something good for yourself, your family, friends and community!


DBSA Presents the 2011 Klerman Awards to Three Outstanding Researchers

DBSA presented its prestigious Gerald L. Klerman Awards for research on Sunday, May 6, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Named after Gerald L. Klerman, M.D., a pivotal figure in psychiatry, these awards are the highest honors that DBSA extends to members of the scientific community. Presented annually, they recognize researchers whose work contributes to understanding the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of depression and bipolar disorder.

Dr. John Greden, Executive Director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center and the Rachel Upjohn Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences in the Department of Psychiatry accepted the 2011 Klerman Senior Investigator Award. The 2011 Klerman Junior Investigator Award went to two clinicians: Dr. Amy Kilbourne, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan and Associate Director of the VA Ann Arbor National Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center (SMITREC) and Dr. Tina Goldstein, Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

To learn more about these esteemed awardees read the press release. (PDF)

The 2011 Gerald L. Klerman awards ceremony was held at the historic College of Physicians of Philadelphia and Mütter Museum. DBSA welcomed members of the DBSA Scientific Advisory Board and influential figures in the mental health community to this special event.

From left to right:
Amy Kilbourne, Ph. D., M.P.H., Ellen Frank, Ph. D., Allen Doederlein
From left to right:
Ellen Frank, Ph. D., Tina Goldstein, Ph. D., Allen Doederlein
From left to right:
Joe Calabrese, M.D., John Greden, M.D., Allen Doederlein
From left to right:
Allen Doederlein, Cindy Specht, Brittany Turski, Steve Birkhauser

Thank you to Dr. Mark Bauer, DBSA Scientific Advisory Board member, for contributing his expertise to this month’s Q & A.

Ask the Doctor Q & A

Is it valuable to have a brain scan even if clinical symptoms are consistent with bipolar disorder prior to assigning the diagnosis of bipolar disorder?
- Donna

Brain scans come in a variety of types.  Some investigate brain structures, for example, “CT” or “CAT” scans (“computerized axial tomography”) or “MRI” scans (magnetic resonance imaging). Other types of scans investigate how the brain functions, such as “functional MRI” or “MRS” (magnetic resonance spectroscopy) scans.  There are two reasons that individuals or their clinicians may be interested in brain scans.  One reason is clinical, and the other reason is to contribute to research. 

With regard to the clinical reason for brain scans, they are often used to be sure that there is no brain injury or abnormality that could be responsible for bipolar symptoms—for instance, a tumor or a stroke or multiple sclerosis.  These causes are rare, and brain scans are often done with the clinician thinking, “I’m don’t think so but just in case…”  The cases where there actually is a structural brain problem that the scans could detect are so rare that clinical practice guidelines usually don’t recommend them for routine use.

In the research setting, brain scans are being used to attempt to identify structures or chemical processes that underlie the symptoms of bipolar disorder.  In these cases, the clinician informs the individual that a particular scan he or she is suggesting a brain scan specifically for research purposes, and that typically no information specific to their individual diagnosis or treatment should be expected—the individual is agreeing to a brain scan to further the cause of identifying mechanisms and treatments for bipolar symptoms.  In these situations a formal informed consent form is signed after the clinician describes not only the benefits but also the risks of the procedure. 

However, individuals should be aware that there are no scans that can “diagnose” bipolar disorder directly.  We hope that in the future there will be.  Currently, a bipolar disorder diagnosis is made based on history and clinical interview.  Beware the clinician who wants to order a brain scan “to see if you have bipolar disorder.”

Mark Bauer, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Associate Director of the VA Center for Organization, Leadership, & Management Research, and Director of the VA National Bipolar TeleHealth Program.  He is on staff of the VA Boston Healthcare System and has served on the DBSA Scientific Advisory Board since 1990.


A Note from Allen

I hope everyone’s having a good, healthy May, or Mental Health Month, 2012! We at DBSA are energized by the contributions of you, our peers, to the DBSA Positive Six Campaign, and we are making our own small positive steps towards BIG transformation. Join us!

Some of us (myself certainly included) remember a moment when we paused and realized something like, “Wow. I’m with a friend, out for coffee, laughing—not stuck in my bed, not lying on my couch with my mind racing, not pacing in the kitchen at 4:30 a.m. after being awake for two days. I’m just…me…a me I love, a me I recognize.” That moment hits us all of a sudden sometimes because it does begin with a small step, a spark, something so small we might not even know it’s the beginning of transformation. But each step leads towards the destination we all want: wellness. Join DBSA for +6, and take the opportunity to make some of those small changes. Remember—they add up!

Positive Six is one of DBSA’s community engagement initiatives of 2012. We’re also fostering the therapeutic alliance and promoting innovation. These two strategic directions came together in one event as a group of people who live with mood disorders and leading mental health researchers and clinicians celebrated the recipients of the 2011 DBSA Gerald L. Klerman Awards for research.

The 2011 DBSA Gerald L. Klerman Young Investigators may indeed be young in terms of age, but their work is extensive, impressive, and important, with a particular sensitivity to and understanding of the needs and goals of people who live with mood disorders. Dr. Tina Goldstein’s research on the assessment and treatment of youth with, and at-risk for, bipolar disorder—along with her work to reduce suicidal behavior in this vulnerable population—is critical work for our community’s youngest members and their families. Dr. Amy Kilbourne’s transformative advancements towards the vital integration of mental and physical healthcare, both within the VA and in other clinical settings, are at the forefront of the field and its evolution to true whole-health concepts of care.

2011 DBSA Gerald L. Klerman Senior Investigator Dr. John Greden is a visionary leader who founded the National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC). His ongoing research, advocacy, teaching, and the establishment of the NNDC show a lifelong commitment to improving approaches not only to attain, but also to maintain, wellness. Dr. Greden’s efforts to discover biomarkers and develop laboratory tests for personalized treatments; his commitment to maintenance of wellness through prevention, measurement, adherence, and stigma reduction; his leadership in the understanding and treatment of treatment-resistant depression; and his work to transform public policy through the NNDC and its community partners (like DBSA) make him a true hero of the therapeutic alliance.

DBSA will continue its work to bring the voices of people living with depression and bipolar disorder to these leading researchers and their colleagues, as well as to facilitate the researchers’ dialogue with us.

Congratulations and thanks to Drs. Goldstein, Kilbourne, and Greden!

Happy Mental Health Month,


Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Applications Now Available for July 2012 DBSA Peer Specialist Training and Certification

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 1,100 individuals throughout the U.S. have enhanced their peer support skills to seek new volunteer and employment roles through DBSA Peer Specialist training and certification. The intensive 5-day training curriculum includes sessions on effective listening, using dissatisfaction as an avenue for change, Peer Specialist ethics, Recovery Dialoguesİ, and much more. DBSA Peer Specialist training and certification meets competency standards by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Mental Health Services.

Applications are now being accepted for our next training course, scheduled for July 23-27, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. Application deadline is June 19, 2012. Download the application form. For more information, contact us at Training@DBSAlliance.org. Take the first step in joining the Peer Specialist workforce!

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DBSA Mental Health First Aid Training in Urbana, IL

You are more likely to encounter a person in an emotional or mental crisis
than someone having a heart attack.
Would you know what to do?

For most members of the general public, the answer to this question is “no”. To address this problem, DBSA will offer Mental Health First Aid training in Champaign-Urbana, June 6-7, 2012. Mental Health First Aid is a 12-hour training certification course which teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the individual. Participants will improve their mental health literacy and learn how to identify, understand and respond appropriately to signs of people experiencing mental health challenges.

“We are delighted to bring Mental Health First Aid to Urbana ,” said Lisa Goodale, DBSA Vice President of Training. “As an organization led by people who live successfully with mental illnesses, DBSA is ideally positioned to facilitate this program and help more and more people find their way to recovery.” The course is being promoted in partnership with the DBSA Urbana Champaign chapter.

WHEN: Wednesday-Thursday, June 6-7, 2012
WHERE:School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
                1010 W. Nevada St., Urbana, IL 61801
COST:$75.00 for DBSA chapter participants / $95.00 for general public
Participants will receive a comprehensive training manual

Registration deadline is May 23

For more information on this course, or how your chapter can sponsor a course in your local area,contact Lisa Goodale at (800) 826-3632, x 155 or Training@DBSAlliance.org and download the flyer.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DBSA Invites You to Chapter Leadership Forum (CLF) 2012!

DBSA's CLF is a one day event filled with DBSA chapter leaders from around the country coming together. We’ll rap about our dreams for the future; the power of collaboration and all the groovy things our chapters are doing around the country! So, whether you’re already part of a DBSA chapter or support group, or considering starting one, DBSA is stoked to invite you to CLF 2012  Power to the Peers!  

The first 100 registrants affiliated with a DBSA chapter (max. 5 per chapter) may attend at no cost as a benefit of chapter affiliation. Additional chapter participants or individuals who are not affiliated with a DBSA chapter can participate for a $50 registration fee. Don’t be square sign up today to reserve your spot!

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DSM-5 Draft Criteria Available for Public Comment Period through June 15

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is seeking your comments on proposed criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the handbook used by health care professionals as an authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders. These draft criteria will be available for review and comment at www.DSM5.org from May 2 to June 15 and DBSA encourages you to give your feedback. Please note that the changes listed on the Web site do not represent the final changes for DSM-5, but the latest draft proposals. Health professionals, consumers of mental health services, family members and advocates are invited to visit the site and provide feedback.

This is the third and final public comment period in the manual’s development. When it concludes, Work Groups will review the comments submitted during this comment period and prepare their proposals for review by the Task Force, a Scientific Review Committee and Clinical and Public Health Committee. The final version of the DSM-5 is expected to go before the Board of Trustees in December 2012.

For more information and to submit your comments, visit www.DSM5.org

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

The Road to Recovery

DBSA is pleased to partner with bp Magazine/esperanza to bring you empowering and informative articles featured in the quarterly bp and esperanza magazines. In the spring 2012 issue of esperanza magazine, Allen Doederlein, DBSA President, openly shares how he hit the road to recovery after being diagnosed with a mood disorder:

"It's definitely a process, and I'm still having revelations," says Doederlein. "But once you figure out that you have the tools and the power within yourself to affect your mood and your sense of well-being, that's when you discover that this journey is not just about recovery. It's about a whole new life."

Read the full article

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
Taking each day as it comes and not looking at the big picture works for me. Looking at the big picture makes me feel overwhelmed and just taking each step as it comes gives me a sense of accomplishment.

To Do List
Make a plan, write it down, keep up with it, revise it, live by it. What kind of plan? Plan your life, your relationships, your work, your needs and desires, plan everything. Write it down. If it not a solo plan, plan it together, modify it, make it work for both/all of you.

Who We are Today
Those who help us; Those who hurt us; Those who leave us; Those who love us; Those who teach us; all make us into the person we have become today!

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.

Save the Date

Now October 31, 2012
DBSA +6 Campaign

June 6-7, 2012
DBSA Mental Health First Aid Course
Urbana, Illinois

July 23-27, 2012
DBSA Peer Specialist Training
St. Louis Empowerment Center, St. Louis, MO

September 1-30, 2012
National Recovery Month
United States

September 5-8, 2012
NAPS conference in Philadelphia, PA

October 10, 2012
DBSA Chapter Leadership Forum
Portland, OR

June 14, 2013
DBSA Chapter Leadership Forum
Miami, FL

June 15-17, 2013
DBSA 2103 National Conference
Miami, FL