Happy Holidays from DBSA

As the year comes to a close, we pause to reflect on the inspiration you, our extended family, bring to us each and every day of the year. We can think of no better holiday present than to share a small sampling of some of our many inspirational moments of 2014.  Happy Holidays from your DBSA family.

Our Staff’s Inspirations from 2014 

I’m inspired by the people who take on starting new DBSA support groups! Sometimes you have to wait for weeks, even months, before anyone shows up! I think of one of our founders and longtime supporters, who would travel many miles in inclement weather to ensure that ~someone~ was there for a newly formed group in her state, because you never know when someone will need you and look to your group—no matter how small or how new—for life-saving support.

I’m inspired by the young advocates of the Young Adult Council, and emerging advocate Demi Lovato, for showing their young peers that to have a mood disorder is not shameful, nor is it the end of success or possibility in your life.

I’m inspired by a community that has persevered for 30 years in providing hope, help, support, and education that has saved thousands of lives.
– Allen Doederlein, President

I am constantly inspired by our chapter support group leaders and parent volunteers. They dedicate so much of their time, energy, and passion to help others find an easier path than they may have experienced themselves—and to ensure that no one need walk that path alone. They are a life-line to countless individuals, many of whom they may never know.
– Cindy Specht, Executive Vice President

In October, we featured Christopher Heila’s personal story in which he shared why he chose to run the Chicago Marathon in support of DBSA. When I read this young man’s story, I was so struck by how similar it was to that of my nephew’s. And, how each shared what a pivotal, life-changing difference a single person made in their lives.
– Nancy Heffernan, Vice President, Finance and Administration

I am constantly in awe of all of the people who offer their strengths, dedication, and talents to their peers through DBSA, and the ways in which they turn their challenging experiences into tools for change for others.
– Lisa Goodale, Vice President, Peer Services

Sharing very personal details about one's life is never easy. The inspiration I receive from our advocates who are willing to give voice to individuals living with mood disorders by publicly telling their story so as to affect positive change around access to quality mental health care fuels the fire in my belly every day.
– Phyllis Foxworth, Director, Advocacy

I have been inspired by speaking to the many people we have touched and assisted this year and hearing the stories they share of their journeys and how our support groups have saved their lives.
– Katee Crawford, Manager, Development

I find all of our volunteers inspirational for the commitment of their time, our most valuable resource.
– Anita Deely, Manager, Finance and Administration

The hundreds of Veterans who have dedicated their lives to supporting other Veterans. These men and women inspire me every day!
– Mary Dean, Manager, Programs and Communications

DBSA's 2014 Year of Thriving has had an impact on me all year—inspired by everyone's voice and response to the campaign. Just last week as I left my therapist, I realized that I was on a recovery path, not just a maintenance plan. That sounds small, but that little switch in my thinking lit a fire inside of me, allowing me to breathe a little deeper and believe in the process. And that insight connected me to the part I play at DBSA, and to all of our constituents.  Mental health treatment has come a long way, especially over the past few decades, and I'm proud to be a part of an organization that's in the heart of that movement.
– Maria Margaglione, Manager, Web and Visual Communications

I find the efforts and dedication of DBSA volunteers across the country not only inspirational, but critical to the organization’s success.
– Denisse DePeralta, Executive and Development Assistant

I am inspired by the Balanced Mind Parent Network volunteers whose small acts of kindness add up to making a huge difference in the lives of our families every day.
– Julia Small, Coordinator, Parent Volunteers

I’m inspired daily by our volunteer chapter and state organization leaders who are on the ground in their communities. These local leaders deal with finding places to meet (and having to move when the location needs the space again), providing quality services with little to no resources and making sure those in their community know of these services. They often facilitate weekly support group meetings (some facilitate several!) They handle phone calls from potential and current participants at all hours of the day and night. They help to educate the public about mood disorders. They deal with incredibly difficult situations and yet, they come back for more! Burn out is a very real problem for our leaders, but they continue on. I am continuously amazed by how freely they give of their time and resources. They do this out of the goodness of their hearts and because they believe that they can help improve the lives of others. If this doesn’t restore your faith in humanity, then I’m not sure what will!
– Ingrid Deetz, Vice President, Chapter Relations