2015 DBSA I to We Weekend

A very special mental wellness conference and leadership forum!

We’re shifting the focus!

In this, DBSA’s 30th anniversary year, we are celebrating our past—three decades of peer support—and challenging ourselves to create a future empowered by shifting the focus from “I to We”a future that changes the emphasis from:

  • Eliminating illness to building wellness
  • Isolation and fear to a welcoming community of support
  • Individual views to powerful, collective voices

On September 26, close to 300 people gathered at the Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, IL, for the DBSA I to We Weekend―encompassing our 30th anniversary national conference and a newly expanded leadership forum. The event focused on the importance of community and the mind-body connection in wellness, as well as the significant contributions of people living with mood disorders.

In addition to information-packed sessions on a holistic view of health, the field of positive psychology, intimacy, nutrition and inflammation, sleep and relaxation, and a panel discussion on substance use, three powerful keynote speakers―photographer, writer, and suicide awareness advocate Dese'Rae Stage; Academy Award nominated actress, author, and mental health advocate Mariel Hemingway; and Pulitzer Prize finalist author, philanthropist, and mental health and civil rights advocate Andrew Solomon. Another conference highlight was the awarding of the DBSA Legacy of Hope Award to Jan Fawcett, MD, and Rose Kurland, who were instrumental in the founding of DBSA, and the Life Unlimited Award to Carolyn Burke for a life lived unlimited by a mood disorder. A toast raised by DBSA president Allen Doederlein at the day’s end celebrated DBSA’s 30 years of life-saving peer support and high hopes for the next three decades.

Sunday’s Leadership Forum attracted a record number of participants. New this year was a five-track format that included special sessions for chapter leaders, parents, young adults, peer sponsors, and other attendees. The day was punctuated by inspiring keynote presentations by Larry Fricks and Barry Bradford.


Keynote Presenters

Barry Bradford
Barry Bradford
Larry Fricks
Larry Fricks
Mariel Hemingway
Mariel Hemingway
Andrew Solomon
Andrew Solomon
Dese'Rae Stage
Dese'Rae Stage
 

Special Performances

Shannon Curtis
Shannon Curtis
David Granirer
David Granirer
Jennifer Marshall
Jennifer Marshall

100% of survey respondents were very satisfied (60%) or satisfied (40%) with their conference experience.

100% of survey respondents strongly agreed (59%) or agreed (41%) what they learned will help self/family/friend.

100% of survey respondents were very satisfied (85%) or satisfied (15%) with the DBSA staff.

96% of survey respondents would recommend this event.


Attendee Comments

  • Wonderful introduction to DBSA. I think I’ll have to check out the support group in my city. J. This weekend was what I needed to jump start my recovery and to think of my healing as whole, not just mentally.
  • Learned a lot―both as a peer and as a clinician.
  • Extremely worthwhile, inspirational, informative, emotional.
  • Upbeat, empowering, sharing common experience/empathy. Less alone. Thank you…it was wonderful!
  •  I am so thankful for DBSA and the wonderful work of staff, board and chapter volunteers. A real source of hope for me as a person and us as a culture. ‘I to We’ great theme.
  • I enjoyed the whole weekend. Sessions were well organized…Every minute of the 3 days were filled with information. The goal of ‘I to We’ was accomplished. DBSA Staff, board members, etc. very approachable and friendly.


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