DBSA e-Update June 2013

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Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Stay Well, Stay on Track with the DBSA Wellness Tracker

DBSA Wellness Tracker App now available for iPhone® and iPod touch®.

Wellness involves your whole health—emotional and mental, as well as physical. The DBSA Wellness Tracker is a free, innovative, and user-friendly online tool that allows you to keep track of your mental and physical health. The DBSA Wellness Tracker’s monthly reporting feature gives you an at-a-glance summary of key health trends. Online, on your iPhone®, or on your iPod touch®, you can track key health trends related to overall mood, mood disorder symptoms, lifestyle (including sleep, exercise, etc.), medication and side effects, and physical health.

Start tracking online today.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Allen Doederlein
DBSA President

Note from Allen: Thanks from the DBSA 2013 National Conference

I warmly thank the Board, Scientific Advisory Board, staff, and chapter family of DBSA—alongside our colleagues at the International Society on Bipolar Disorders, Patrick Kennedy, Victoria Maxwell, Melody Moezzi, Priscilla Ridgeway, and hundreds of our peers—for their significant contributions to the DBSA 2013 National Conference and our Chapter Leadership Forum. Thank you for being with us for a weekend of engaging, inspiring, and transformative collaboration among those who share a vision of wellness for people who live with mood disorders. All of us who attended the conference were able to create a weekend in which we were, indeed, Stronger Together. Even if you weren’t able to attend, there’s still an opportunity to experience some of the engaging and inspiring moments of the conference. Check back in the coming weeks for videos of our keynotes, along with slides and findings from many of our presentations.

I believe we are truly stronger together as a community that offers strength and support; stronger together as partners in wellness; and stronger together as peers embracing our inner strengths. DBSA envisions a better future for our community, and we’re committed to offering the tools, support, and resources necessary to make that better future happen.

DBSA is committed to working together with you for a better a future.

–Allen Doederlein

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Life Unlimited: Everett

I was born in the middle of the great depression in 1933.  Hoover was president and my family was trying to make ends meet.

I must have been depressed from my early years. I wrote a suicide note when I was in the third grade. My father tore it up and said, "What a dumb thing to write." That was the end of it.

…I know now that three things are necessary for keeping me well. The first is finding a doctor you can work well with. Second, taking the time to find the right medication, and third, to have a good support system that includes family and my DBSA Boston group.

Read the full story of Everett Page.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

New Survey: Getting Help for Suicidal Thoughts

DBSA’s latest survey asks about your experience in dealing with thoughts of death or suicide. We appreciate that this subject is very sensitive, and these thoughts might seem frightening or shameful. But we believe it is important to understand how people cope with thoughts or feelings about suicide or self-harm. Other people may benefit from knowing what has—or has not—helped you. We appreciate your willingness to share your experiences.

Take the survey.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Care for Your Mind: June 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!


Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health in Schools
Mental Health in Workplace

Coming Up Next Week

Don’t miss next week’s feature on how the ACA may affect your prescription drug coverage.

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

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Public Comments Sought on Peer Specialist National Standards: June 21 Deadline

The International Association of Peer Supporters (INAPS) has issued a call for public comments on a draft statement of national practice standards for peer supporters. A national advisory committee of diverse representatives from both the mental health and addictions fields—including DBSA—has been hard at work on this draft, using surveys, focus groups, literature reviews and personal interviews to gain an understanding of the values peer supporters hold most dear.

Now through June 21, INAPS is conducting a field review of the draft standards through an online survey. Read the draft on their website or the INAPS Facebook page today to provide your comments on the draft standards.


Positive Six: Positive Changes This June

Welcome to the second month of the DBSA Positive Six Campaign—six months of small, positive changes to connect with your health and your community.

June introduces our Positive Change Challenge. This month, we encourage you to incorporate two positive habits into your routine. Drink more water, be diligent about getting 8 hours of sleep, eliminate negative self-talk, or start taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Small steps can lead to big changes in how you feel—physically and emotionally! Visit the June challenge page for inspiration, thought starters, recipes, 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 first Monday of July for free giveaways and inspiration to help you meet the next challenge!

July Sneak Peek

Don’t forget to join us the first Monday in July (July 1) for the kick off of the Give It a Try 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 July challenge asks you to try out three new things you may have been hesitant to try in the past. Try a new type of food, be a tourist in your own city, or try out a new hobby. You’ll be proud you did and hopefully have some fun!

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Rules of Order

Getting rid of clutter can put you on the path to a living space that lifts your spirits. Read the article at bp Magazine.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DBSA Honors Scientists for Research in Mood Disorders

DBSA presented three prestigious Gerald L. Klerman Awards for research on Sunday, May 19, 2013 in San Francisco, California. These awards, presented annually, recognize researchers whose work contributes to and advances the understanding of the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. Gerald L. Klerman, M.D. was a pivotal figure in psychiatry and these awards in his name are the highest honors that DBSA extends to members of the scientific community.

Dr. Jürgen Unützer, Professor and Vice-Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington and Director of the Division of Integrated Care and Public Health, and Dr. John Markowitz, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University, Research Psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, were presented with the Senior Investigator Award. Dr. Benjamin Goldstein, Director of the Centre for Youth Bipolar Disorder at Sunnybrook, Scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, was presented with the Junior Investigator Award.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Wellness Tips from Peers

Advocate for Yourself

Be a subject, not an object. Seek out what you need and want. Seek out comfort and support instead of hoping for someone to notice and give it to you.

Short But Sweet Tip for Anxiety

Chew gum. It doesn’t necessarily calm, but it gives that part of the body something to do, and for some reason, one may be able to focus somewhat on something else when chewing gum. Sounds strange, but try it!

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

June 1–30
DBSA Positive Six Positive Change Challenge

June 25
Prescription Drug Coverage on CFYM

July 1–31
DBSA Positive Six Give It a Try Challenge