2009 National Conference
Alternative Treatments: Evaluating Your Options
For many people living with mood disorders, the usual treatment choices are not effective enough or cause too many side effects. This session will discuss how you can evaluate various third- and fourth-line treatments. We’ll evaluate the possible benefits and risks of some specific treatments including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). We'll also discuss how, as consumers, you can evaluate information about new or experimental treatments, as well as what you should consider before enrolling in research on new treatments.
Psychiatric Service Dogs
Many of us know the joys and benefits of sharing our lives with pets that give us unconditional love. Service dogs (and other service animals) take those joys and benefits to new levels; they become more than pets and are trained to perform tasks that help to “mitigate our disabilities.” What does that mean? How does a pet become a service dog, and what’s the difference? In this session, Donna will cover these questions, explain specific tasks that service dogs can be trained to perform for us, and discuss local and federal laws pertaining to service dogs. Sharing a few humorous anecdotes, she will also address the issue of etiquette—for us, our dog, and the public.
Recovery is about people seeing themselves as capable of recovery rather than as passive recipients of professional interventions. Personal stories suggest that much personal recovery happens without professional help. In this workshop, community educators Margaret Thele and Malkia Maisha Newman will bridge the professional/consumer divide. This interactive, poetry-inspired, multimedia presentation on recovery is more of a word painting than a workshop. It will explore all of the elements vital to recovery and help attendees identify what essentials they need to incorporate into their personal plan as they travel their own unique recovery journey.
Cause & Effect: More Understanding = More Control + Less Guilt
This session will provide a clear and comprehensible explanation of cutting-edge research into the causes of depression and bipolar disorder….and offer a sneak peek into what the future holds. Jehannine will examine how genetics, as well as how our experiences, contribute to the development of mental illnesses. She’ll will discuss predisposition to mental illness but also debunk the idea of fatalism (that we’re powerless to change our “fate”). Finally, she’ll look at those things that individuals, despite a predisposition to mental illness, can control to regain and/or retain wellness. The aim is to leave attendees feeling less guilt and stigma…and more hope and empowerment.
SATURDAY, 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
New APA Guidelines for Bipolar Disorder
This session provides information on the latest update of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Practice Guidelines for bipolar disorder. The treatment guidelines are a collaborative effort between psychiatrists in clinical research and practice, and the APA guidelines serve as a reference for current best practices in treating major psychiatric illness. The bipolar disorder guidelines address treatment concerns like acute treatment, maintenance treatment, treatment discontinuation, and psychosocial therapies. Additionally, they address topics such as diagnostic evaluation, the therapeutic alliance, and patient and family education. In this session, Dr. Suppes also discusses the scope of information the guidelines contain as well as how each updated guideline is developed.
3 Ts of Community Activism: Touch, Take Charge, and Transform
Individuals with disabilities—psychiatric or otherwise—should see themselves and their peers as the “can do” and “go to” people who take self-help and recovery principles beyond hospital wards, mental health clinics, and support groups. This motivational presentation will feature true-life stories of people with mental or physical health challenges who are making a positive impact in their local community. In this session, Steve focuses on inspiring people to understand how to bring needed change to their own neighborhoods, towns, and cities through community service, sharing one's talents with others, entrepreneurship, leadership, and cooperative efforts. Steve will also share advice on how you can recognize unmet needs in your community; tap into your own “reservoir of talent;” reach consensus on how to address the need; and mobilize others into action.
Inner Stigma: The Shame of It All
Using his own personal recovery/growth story, Steve will discuss how we internalize the stigma of having a mental illness. By exploring this, we can—individually and collectively—shed the sense of shame and self-loathing that often accompanies a psychiatric diagnosis.
Language doesn’t merely describe; it also can create. Steve will examine the very words themselves that stigmatize and exclude. This enables us to better combat language that’s reflexive (unconscious, unthinking)…and promote language that’s reflective (conscious, thoughtful). When we correct the use of stigmatizing language, we restore equality and humanity to the consumer community. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Through the written and spoken word, we can successfully cast aside—and declare “null and void”—the language that has historically marginalized those with a psychiatric diagnosis.
Beyond Meds & Talk Therapy: Complementary Treatments
Treatment from professionals is only one part of a personal wellness plan for people living with mood disorders. Complementary treatments are those things you do to complement professional treatment. In this session, we’ll discuss what we know about the benefits—and drawbacks—of a wide range of complementary treatments, which include exercise, diet or nutritional supplements, mindfulness or spiritual practice, and non-traditional treatments such as massage or acupuncture.
SATURDAY, 1:15 pm. - 2:15 p.m.
Disability: What to Know
Attorney Melissa Davidson will discuss the details of Social Security Disability and Long-Term Disability plans, including the various types of disability coverage. Acknowledging the frustrating state of the Social Security Administration today, Melissa will offer advice on how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of the system. She’ll also discuss how to increase your chance of being approved for benefits as well as how to address the challenges of working while receiving benefits.
Breaking Free From Loneliness
Acting on Impulse
Clinical Trials Demystified (NOTE THIS SESSION HAS MOVED FROM FRIDAY TO SATURDAY)
Presented by the partnership between DBSA and the National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC), this session will focus on how clinical trials for new medications and treatments work. You’ll learn how to find out about new studies, how to evaluate if this is a good idea for you, what you can expect when you participate in a clinical trial, and what the advantages are of participating in research studies. The goal is to provide an objective, non-technical, and straightforward review of clinical trials and foster a discussion of how to consider and participate in research studies.
SATURDAY, 2:30 pm. - 3:30 p.m.
Successful Self-Disclosure to Family / Friends / Work Learn why it is so important to successfully communicate—in a way that encourages education, support, and understanding—with employers, coworkers, family, and friends regarding your recovery and wellness strategy. Also learn more about your legal rights, as several statutes have changed (to your benefit) in recent years. Understanding your rights will give you pragmatic strategies for dealing with conflicts or misunderstandings that arise with those who aren’t fully educated about their role in supporting mental health consumers. Finally, learn how to successfully communicate with those we deeply care about so that they understand how to best support us along our journey to sustained wellness.
Karen Fuqua, SPHR, CPS, CCP (bio)
Fuqua Consulting Group
Successful Self-Disclosure to Family / Friends / Work
Learn why it is so important to successfully communicate—in a way that encourages education, support, and understanding—with employers, coworkers, family, and friends regarding your recovery and wellness strategy. Also learn more about your legal rights, as several statutes have changed (to your benefit) in recent years. Understanding your rights will give you pragmatic strategies for dealing with conflicts or misunderstandings that arise with those who aren’t fully educated about their role in supporting mental health consumers. Finally, learn how to successfully communicate with those we deeply care about so that they understand how to best support us along our journey to sustained wellness.
Advocating for System Change: Making a Difference on a National Level
System change is a very broad topic, and making your voice heard might sound impossible. Breaking it down, though, into its different “how to” components makes it much easier to tackle. This session will leave you with an understanding of the following: how Washington’s “zero-sum game” operates; how to identify—and approach—those in the federal government with whom to work (usually your Senators and House representatives, but not always); how the Congressional Committee structure works for—and against—you; when and how to make your case; how to find allies in government as well as local community agencies; how to work in coalitions; and how to use the Internet as a tool for system change. We'll explore these topics by examining the 13-year battle for mental health parity, a case study for system advocacy and a classic example of how hard it can be to do the right thing. It will also look at how DBSA established a relationship with the Obama Administration during the time of transition before the inauguration.
The Rollercoaster Ride that Never Ends: Parenting a Child with a Mood Disorder
Peer Proof: Effectiveness of Peer Specialists & Support Groups
Many of us know from experience that support groups and peer specialists are vital to achieving and maintaining recovery. But how many of us know how to back up that experience with key data and information? In this session, we’ll take a look at the research that documents peer support effectiveness. Participants will also learn how to use this information to write effective proposals and “sell” peer support to key stakeholders. And we’ll zero in on what additional evidence is needed.
Schedule of Peer Roundtables
Every year, attendees tell us that networking, sharing, and learning from peers are some of the most important benefits of our conferences. At the 2009 National Conference, we’re excited to once again offer Peer Roundtables. In these peer-led, small-group discussions, network with peers from around the country. Empower yourself and others. Participate in one of this year's Peer Roundtables:
- Peer Roundtable--Special Interest Groups
(Friday 1:45-2:45 p.m.)
Explore strategies and tools to manage the unique challenges face by special interests groups such as Peer Clinicians, Faith-Based Support Groups, Veterans, and the LGBT Community.
- Peer Roundtable--Depression
(Saturday 10:45-11:45 a.m.)
Explore strategies and tools to manage challenges like confronting the symptoms of depression, surviving everyday problems, surviving thoughts of death and suicide, and managing side effects and medication changes.
- Peer Roundtable--Family & Friends
(Saturday 1:15-2:15 p.m.)
Explore strategies and tools that can help both consumers and family/friends strengthen their lives' important relationships.
- Peer Roundtable--Bipolar Disorder
(Saturday 2:30-3:30 p.m.)
Explore strategies and tools to manage challenges like bipolar depression, impulsivity, rapid cycling, and medication changes.
The following general sessions are open to all conference attendees:
- Klerman Awards Presentation
(Friday 3:15-3:30 p.m.)
Each year, DBSA honors two of the nation's leading researchers in mental health. We are pleased that, for the first time, these awards will be presented at our national conference.
- "Ask the Doctor" Panel
(Friday 3:30-4:30 p.m.)
Hear our distinguished panel of Klerman Award-winning researchers and mental health professionals answer questions submitted by audience members.
- Beth Murray, APRN, BC
- Greg Simon, MD, MPH
- Trisha Suppes, MD, PhD
- Audrey Tyrka, MD, PhD
- A Message from DBSA President Peter Ashenden
(Saturday 10:00-10:30 a.m.)
- New DBSA Programs
(Sunday 10:00-10:30 a.m.)
but you can read all
about it here:
|Pre- & Post-Conference Institutes|
|Chapter Leadership Forum|
|Hotel & Travel Center|