DBSA e-Update July 2011

Quick Links to Articles Below

A Note from Allen
Free Webconference Support Group Offered by DBSA Conejo Valley Chapter
Next DBSA Peer Specialist training Course to Take Place in Chicago
Patty Duke: From Pain to Peace
Journaling Your Way towards Wellness

We are pleased to add two new features to our eUpdates!

A Note from Allen
Each Month, newly appointed DBSA President, Allen Doederlein, will share his thoughts and perspective with the DBSA audience. Read his message below.

Ask the Doctor Q & A
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 August 1st to be considered for the August 17th eUpdate.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

A Note from Allen: We Can Do It!

I have “officially” been in the DBSA President role for 45 days, and they have been exhilarating days. Meetings with chapter participants, Board members, colleagues, donors, clinicians, and even some of DBSA’s founders have helped to crystallize my thinking about how DBSA can move forward and have real impact for people living with mood disorders. There is much reason for DBSA to be encouraged and hopeful. For even though there is immense need for education about depression and bipolar disorder, and acute need for transformation of our approaches to treatment—there is also a great, engaged community working towards the same goal: to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders.

Our aim at DBSA is to listen to and articulate the voices of people who live with mood disorders. So I need your help. Please tell me what you need from DBSA, and what you believe DBSA can do that no other organization can. Let's work together to find out what’s next—for our wellness, for our treatment, and for our communities.

Also encouraging and hopeful have been so many e-mails of congratulations and “you can do it!” I am touched and honored to have heard from so many of you. It occurs to me how much impact that simple act—a quick note or statement of “Good going!” or “You can do it!”—can make for a person’s day. When you live with depression or bipolar disorder, it’s not always clear that “You can do it.” A reminder helps. Let’s keep reminding each other, and ourselves, that recovery is possible. We can do it...together.

Thank you for being part of this community and for all of the work that you do,

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Free Webconference Support Group Offered by DBSA Conejo Valley Chapter

The founder of our Conejo Valley, California chapter has used his experience with support groups and technology to develop a new type of online meeting. The peer-led meetings are done with Webconference technology. This allows participants to see their group leader and to talk with each other using a phone line or VOIP (their computer). Participants can also see and interact with slides that facilitators use to help structure the meetings. The first free weekly DBSA Conejo Valley Chapter online meeting will be on June 16th at 6:00 PM Central. Click on the following link to join the site and register for the free Depression Recovery Group meeting: www.depressionrecoverygroups.com/DBSA.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Next DBSA Peer Specialist Training Course to Take Place in Chicago

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.

University of Illinois-Chicago
Department of Psychiatry
1601 W. Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60612 

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 September 13, 2011.


Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Patty Duke: From Pain to Peace

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 Jodi Helmer, is from the Summer 2011 issue of bp magazine
Link: http://www.bphope.com/Item.aspx/845/the-one-and-only-patty-duke.

Ask Patty Duke a question—any question—and she’ll answer it with candor and charm. She proclaims herself “an open book ... a professional confessor” when it comes to telling her story about living with bipolar disorder.

bp caught up with Duke at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance’s (DBSA) national conference in Houston recently. Relaxing after delivering an inspiring keynote speech, the petite actress says her speaking engagements “are very therapeutic for me. I may moan and groan about the travel, each time is going to be the last time, but the last time never comes.”

In fact, the woman who once heard voices proclaiming religious messages in her head now spreads the word about bipolar with a passion she says is almost spiritual. Her message: “It’s fixable. People need to know that there is forgiveness for the bad things, and the illness does not own you…”

Read the full article:

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Journaling Your Way towards Wellness

Did you know that journaling has many health benefits? It may help decrease the symptoms of many health conditions, improves cognitive functioning, and can be very therapeutic after a stressful day. Many individuals find keeping a daily journal very helpful, as it can help us find a solution to a problem we are facing or come to the realization that a situation is not nearly as bad as it seems. It also allows us to acknowledge the positive aspects of our lives, so that we can face each day with a brighter perspective.

The Facing Us online journal is an very helpful tool and can be used in a multitude of ways—for daily reflection, gratitude practice and creative writing, jut to name a few. It can be as succinct or in depth as you would like. As a member of the Facing Us Clubhouse, you’ll be able to add as many journal entries as you like, as often as you like, and print your journal at any time. You can even select a beautiful piece of artwork for your cover. All your journal entries are private and can not be viewed by anyone else on the site.

The journal entry feature is one of the many customizable wellness tools the Facing Us Clubhouse has to offer. Access the Facing Us Journal  in the Facing Us Clubhouse.

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


August 22-24, 2011
Fifth annual National Association of Peer Specialists conference in Raleigh, NC

Now - September 5, 2011
2011 Facing Us Video Contest submissions accepted

September 24, 2011
Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Community Walk in Elk Grove Village, IL

September 26-30
DBSA Peer Specialist Training course in Chicago, IL

October 26-30
The 25th annual Alternatives conference in Orlando, FL