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Larry Fricks Elected New Secretary of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Board of Directors

CHICAGO, IL, February 15, 2005 Atlanta resident Larry Fricks has been elected to serve a one-year term as the Secretary for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) Board of Directors, headquartered in Chicago, IL.

DBSA is the leading patient-directed national organization focusing on the most prevalent mental illnesses depression and bipolar disorder. Incorporated in 1985, DBSA oversees and guides a rapidly expanding grassroots network of more than 1,000 support groups; provides useful and timely information on these illnesses to more than four million people each year; and acts as an advocate for equitable treatment of people with depression and bipolar disorder. 

Fricks has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2002. In his new position, he will continue his commitment to the growth of DBSA. “In the coming years I would like to see increased support for our constituents, growth of our chapters, and a focus on peer support,” he explains.

DBSA President Lydia Lewis believes in his appointment, “Larry has served the Board well as a member since 2002 and as an officer I know his extensive background in the mental health field will only benefit DBSA and our mission.”

He currently serves as the Director of the Office of Consumer Relations for the Georgia Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases. He is a founder of the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network, Inc. that now has some 3,000 members, a founder of the Georgia Consumer Council, a founder of Georgia’s Peer Specialist Training and Certification and a founder of the Georgia Peer Support Institute.

Additionally, he served on the Planning Board for the Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health, and the Board of Directors of the National Mental Health Association.  He is also on the National Advisory Council for the Center for Mental Health Services and the Advisory Board for The Carter Center Mental Health Journalism Fellowships. 

Fricks earned a journalism degree from the University of Georgia and has won journalism awards from the Associated Press, the Georgia Press Association, Gannett Newspapers, the National Mental Health Association of Georgia and the National Alliance for The Mentally Ill - Georgia. He is the 1995 recipient of the Clifford W. Beers Award given annually by the National Mental Health Association and the 2001 recipient of the American Association for World Health Award for significant contributions to improving community mental health.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the nation’s leading patient-directed organization focusing on depression and bipolar disorder. The organization, which has more than 1,000 support groups nationwide, fosters an understanding about the impact and management of these life-threatening illnesses by providing up-to-date, scientifically-based tools and information.  Assisted by a 65-member scientific advisory board, comprised of the leading researchers and clinicians in the field of mood disorders, DBSA supports research to promote more timely diagnosis, develop more effective and tolerable treatments and discover a cure. More than 4 million receive information and assistance each year.  More information can be found at or by calling 1-800-826-3632. 

page created: May 9, 2006
 page updated: May 9, 2006