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I'm here...

One out of ten people live with a mood disorder, which makes it likely that you or someone you know has to manage the day-to-day—sometimes minute-to-minute—challenges that living with a mood disorder poses. Learning how to navigate in an ever-changing world that is still relatively new to mental health treatment can be overwhelming and sometimes isolating not only for those who live with a mood disorder, but also their friends and loved ones. I’m here... is a way—for both people living with a mood disorder and those who support—to open up a channel for communication and to say, “I’m here...”

Knowing that you’re not alone on your journey is an important part of wellness, but reaching out to others can be difficult and sometimes seem impossible. On the flip side, it can be challenging for someone to watch a friend or family member struggle with mood disorder symptoms and not know what to say or do. The goal of I’m here... isn’t to “fix” anyone or be a counselor of sorts; it’s to connect with another person and to build awareness. Get started!


Get Started

I'm here...

Make an I’m here... pin
DBSA can provide you with an I’m here... safety pin kit for the cost of shipping. Each kit comes with two safety pins, lime green beads, and an informational card about the campaign. Order a kit.

  • We encourage you to make your own pin without ordering a kit. In fact, some groups are buying supplies on their own and throwing kit parties! If you do make your own, be sure to use lime green beads in support of mental health awareness and for quick recognition. You can even print your own I'm here... information card. See what others have done!
  • NOTE: We can only ship within the US, but the campaign is worldwide.
I'm here... Creating Safety in Numbers
Communicating with others is vital when you live with a mood disorder. While it’s common to isolate in times of trouble, knowing that someone out there understands and is willing to stand with you can help. Creating an I’m here... safety pin with another person starts the conversation. It allows a space for sharing experiences and helping each other.
   
I'm here... Starting the Conversation
Whether you live with a mental health condition or in support of a friend or family member who lives with one, learning how to open up a channel of communication can be overwhelming at times, especially for the newly diagnosed. Wearing an I’m here... safety pin shows that you’re supportive, open, and aware. See demonstrations on how the conversation might go...
   
I'm here... Spreading Awareness
Mood disorders affect millions of people, yet the stigma surrounding it causes barriers to communication and knowledge about mental health conditions. DBSA is hoping for a chain reaction and ongoing communication so that nobody has to feel alone. Explaining the meaning behind the I’m here... safety pin to people in your life helps the whole community move closer to understanding mental health conditions.

Listen up...

NEW!

Jeff and Earl Fink, from Go Fetch Wellness, talk about about the importance of making connections with others when living with a mood disorder. Spoiler alert: sometimes animals can help!

About Jeff: When conventional approaches to achieve mental stability weren’t providing relief for Jeff’s persistent and severe depression and anxiety, he decided to pursue a more unorthodox path to health and stability. Jeff acquired and began training a 2-month old golden retriever named Earl to become a service animal. As time progressed, Jeff realized the profound effect Earl had on others and he launched Go Fetch Wellness, an organization dedicated to helping individuals heal through the human-animal connection. Now, he devotes his life and work to introducing others to the healing capabilities of this bond, with the intent of connecting people primarily with dogs (and sometimes with other animals) as part of their whole-person approach to mental wellness. In addition to Go Fetch Wellness, Jeff advocates for ending stigma of mental illness through his numerous speaking engagements, trainings for behavioral health agencies, corporate presentations centered upon mental health in the workplace, and helping individuals and families across the country through consulting, facilitating, and coaching. Jeff's hope is to educate professionals and non-professionals alike so that they will be more likely to consider, and, where appropriate, include dogs or other animals as one of the cornerstones of a complete and collaborative wellness treatment and recovery program. To learn more visit: www.gofetchwellness.com or email gofetchwellness@gmail.com

Cinda and Linea Johnson talk about the I'm here... campaign and their experiences from when Linea was first diagnosed with a mood disorder. They co-authored the book, Perfect Chaos: A Daughter’s Journey with Bipolar, A Mother’s Struggle to Save Her. Linea currently works as a research coordinator at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. Linea was the recipient of the 2013 DBSA Life Unlimited Award. Cinda is a professor and director of the graduate special education program at Seattle University. She is a national leader in the area of transition from high school to post-high for young people with disabilities. Together, Cinda and Linea make up a mother/daughter team with a shared purpose of building hope and lessening the stigma for those struggling with mental health conditions.

Dr. Greg Simon talks about the I'm here... campaign and ways in which we can start a conversation with a loved one about mood disorders. Dr. Simon is a psychiatrist and researcher at Group Health Cooperative at the Center for Health Studies in Seattle. His research focuses on improving the quality and availability of mental health services for people living with mood disorders, and he has a specific interest in activating consumers to expect and demand more effective mental health care. Dr. Simon is the chair of the DBSA Scientific Advisory Board and can often be found answering questions in our Ask the Doc page featured in our monthly eUpdate.


Tell us about it...

The DBSA I’m here... campaign was borne out of hearing people’s accounts of loneliness and desperation—not only from persons who live with a mood disorder, but their loved ones as well. As Dr. Greg Simon says in the podcast above, connecting with others is a basic human need. Last fall we offered an anonymous survey to let us know two things:

  • What are things people can say or do that would show you the most support on your journey? 
  • What would make it easier for you to give support to someone in your life that lives with a mood disorder? Are there things you're afraid to do or say in order to show support?

SUMMARY: It should be no surprise that the response would reflect a disconnect—an inability to see and communicate with the other person. Resentment was found on both sides of the coin, again pointing to loneliness and desperation that each person feels. Peers want more help from their loved ones and supporters want to know how to be able to help—both expect the person on the other side to know what to do and say. Finally, both peers and supporters shared the love they had for the other person.

THE GOOD NEWS: A connection can be made simply by saying, "I'm here..." Whether you have an I'm here... kit in hand or not, let your loved ones know you're there. Start the conversation.

The MightyCONTINUE TO LET US KNOW: Each month on DBSA's Facebook page, we'll be partnering with The Mighty, requesting feedback from our community. Be sure to visit our Facebook page to participate because your answer might be used in a post for The Mighty!


Spread the word...

Spread awareness and tell people, I'm here...

I'm here... flyer I'm here... info card
Download the flyer, print, and hang in your office or apartment building! Print information cards!
   
I'm here... press release
Take a picture with your pin and tag it #ImHereDBSA on your social media channels! Download the press release
I'm here... Facebook cover
Download the I'm here... banner and add it to your Facebook page!
 
 

Demonstrations on how the conversation might go...

Peer to Friend

 

Peer to Peer

Family to Peer

 


Highlights

Melody Moezzi and her husband, Matthew, speak to the importance of support and how their connection grew stronger after being open and honest with each other. You can watch more videos on Melody's vlog, A Saner Spin.

 

Melody Moezzi, JD, is an award-winning author, United Nations Global Expert, and mental and civil rights advocate. Her latest book Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life is a critically acclaimed memoir that interweaves her experiences with both clinical and cultural bipolarity. Learn more about Melody and her work at MelodyMoezzi.com.

Dese'Rae Stage

Dese’Rae L. Stage is a photographer, writer, suicide awareness advocate, and the creator of Live Through This

 


Rebecca's Dream   I’m here... is a program brought to you by DBSA made possible through the support of Rebecca’s Dream® Foundation. Visit RebeccasDream.org