Welcome to 2014: The Year of Thriving

DBSA welcomes 2014 with a year-long campaign, 2014: The Year of Thriving. Of course we all want to thrive, but for us at DBSA, this idea goes far beyond just being a nice sentiment or catchy campaign theme. DBSA is changing the discussion around mental health—because we believe it is crucial to shift the focus from surviving mental health symptoms to building truly thriving lives.

So in 2014, we're asking our peers, families, clinicians, researchers, politicians, and the public to expect more. We as a community need to promote and seek full wellness—because better is not well.

The cost of settling for reduced symptoms is simply too great. It is, in fact, a matter of life and death—for when residual symptoms exist, we who have mood disorders are

  • at significantly greater risk of relapse(1)
  • more likely to experience significant functional impairment, making the day‐to‐day demands of job and family challenging, and too often, debilitating. (2)
  • more likely to have life‐threatening co‐occurring conditions, such as heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes—a huge factor in why individuals with mental health conditions die, on average, 25 years younger than those without mental health conditions (3)
  • at a higher risk to die by suicide (4)

DBSA’s 2014: The Year of Thriving is a year-long focus on programming that challenges each of us to raise our personal wellness expectations from just better to truly well; to demand a new focus on treatment options and methodologies that have zero residual symptoms as the goal; and to take action, in our own lives and in service of others, to help make this goal a reality. Watch DBSA President, Allen Doederlein, share a few program highlights from DBSA’s 2014: The Year of Thriving.

We hope you join us as we change the conversation, minds, goals, and outcomes in 2014: The Year of Thriving.

DBSA Programming for 2014

(Updated throughout the year)

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Target Zero to Thrive
April 1–30, 2014

DBSA targets raising expectations for mental health treatment. A month-long social media campaign, Target Zero to Thrive, challenges mental health care professionals, researchers, and individuals living with or affected by mood disorders to raise treatment goals to complete remission—to zero symptoms. 

Read more about this exciting campaign and join us!


(1) Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Sep;157(9):1501-4.
Does incomplete recovery from first lifetime major depressive episode herald a chronic course of illness?
Judd LL1, Paulus MJ, Schettler PJ, Akiskal HS, Endicott J, Leon AC, Maser JD, Mueller T, Solomon DA, Keller MB.

(2) J Clin Psychiatry. 2007 Aug;68(8):1237-45.
Mood symptoms, functional impairment, and disability in people with bipolar disorder: specific effects of mania and depression.
Simon GE1, Bauer MS, Ludman EJ, Operskalski BH, Unützer J.

(3) Bipolar Disord. 2004 Oct;6(5):368-73.
Burden of general medical conditions among individuals with bipolar disorder.
Kilbourne AM1, Cornelius JR, Han X, Pincus HA, Shad M, Salloum I, Conigliaro J, Haas GL.

(4) Psychiatr Serv. 2013 Dec 1;64(12):1195-202. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201200587.
Does response on the PHQ-9 Depression Questionnaire predict subsequent suicide attempt or suicide death?
Simon GE, Rutter CM, Peterson D, Oliver M, Whiteside U, Operskalski B, Ludman EJ.