In addition to introducing new initiatives each year, DBSA maintains many ongoing programs.
In partnership with Families for Depression Awareness, DBSA has become a sponsor of the Care for Your Mind (CFYM) blog. CFYM is a space where people affected by the mental health care system can openly discuss its strengths and weaknesses with thought leaders and advocates in the hope of building a better system.
DBSA is a recognized leader in training for the peer specialist workforce, evidenced in part by its designation as a preferred provider for the Veterans Administration. Our Peer Specialist Core Training for non-Veterans is a five-day, interactive course facilitated by nationally recognized trainers that provides a foundation in recovery principles, peer support intervention skills, and ethical practice. The Veterans Training, comprising 46 hours of web-based and face-to-face training, is open to Veterans currently employed in VA peer support positions and individuals who wish to qualify for these positions.
In 2015, DBSA oversaw Veteran trainings in Colorado Springs; Colorado; Birmingham, Alabama; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, California; and Chicago, IL, the latter generously funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The Los Angeles trainings were under the auspices of Volunteers of America—a new partnership for DBSA—including one for the National Veterans Resource Squad. Four Core Peer Specialist trainings in Roanoke, Virginia; Colorado Springs, and Chicago this year offered the Next Steps course, co-created by the International Association of Peer Specialists (INAPS), and included an expanded curriculum that met the state requirements of Virginia. All told, 412 individuals received peer support training from DBSA in 2015.
If the rating scale were 1-10, I would give this course a 10++. The instructors were absolutely amazing and truly inspiring. I would recommend this training to others.
–Participant, National Veterans Resource Squad training
This line is provided for individuals who need information, resources, and other help. In 2015, 17,524 information requests were received and answered by DBSA volunteers.
To help increase understanding and bridge the gap between researchers and people living with mood disorders, DBSA and the University of Michigan Depression Center (UMDC) have partnered to create WeSearchTogether.org. Visitors can find answers there to general questions about mental health research; stories from research participants and researchers; and information about participating in research. A database of mood disorder studies is also available that connects interested individuals to relevant studies in their area.
Facing Us.org is an online home for anyone seeking inspiration and support as they work toward wellness. The site includes many useful tools, including an award-winning wellness tracker, online journal, wellness tips, and creativity journal, and more.
I really like DBSA Facebook community. I have gotten more from your posts and links than I have from many of the in- and out-patient therapies I have received.
–DBSA Facebook fan