DBSA e-Update January 2010

Quick Links

More keynotes---Kay Jamison, Jessie Close, Marya

  Your Thoughts on Clinical Trials

Inspiring the Younger Crowd  


Become a Peer Specialist this May

Podcasts on Treatment-Resistant
& Postpartum Depression

In the News


Party with Your Peers at 2010 CLF

Wellness Tips    

Kay Redfield Jamison, Jessie Close, Marya Hornbacher to Keynote at Conference!

 DBSA 2010 National Conference mini logo   We couldn't be more excited to tell you about our newest keynote speakers at the DBSA 2010 National Conference: Celebrating 25 Years of Peer Support! For the latest on all of the presentations, speakers, and special events at our one-of-a-kind 25th anniversary conference celebration, visit:



Kay Jamison 

Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD, is professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center. The internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of An Unquiet Mind and Touched with Fire, she is also honorary professor of English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She has received numerous national and international scientific awards, is coauthor of the standard medical text on bipolar disorder, and is author or coauthor of over 100 scientific papers about mood disorders, creativity, and psychopharmacology. Dr. Jamison's keynote presentation will be based on her newest book, released in 2009, Nothing Was the Same: A Memoir.    

Calen Pick Jessie Close   

Jessie Close is a consumer bravely sharing her story nationally to fight stigma through Bring Change 2 Mind (BC2M), a new campaign established in part by her sister, actress Glenn Close. DBSA is proud to be a partner in this important campaign and is delighted to welcome Jessie as a conference keynote speaker, along with her son, artist and consumer Calen Pick. Jessie appears with Glenn in BC2M’s first PSA video, and she also has recently spoken on The View and Good Morning America. In their joint keynote presentation, Jessie and Calen will discuss family dynamics and relationships in the context of mental illness.

Rebecca's Dream  "All in the Family" keynote presentation sponsored by Rebecca's Dream 
Marya Hornbacher Web   

Marya Hornbacher is an award-winning journalist and author of three books, including the New York Times best seller Madness: A Bipolar Life. Another best seller, Wasted, earned her a nomination for a Pulitzer Prize. A consumer living with bipolar disorder, she lectures frequently on mental health including recent appearances at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia universities. Marya strongly believes in the power of personal stories to heal us and to break down stigma. By sharing her own journey through hell and high water, she believes that attendees will find support for telling their own stories and finding their own voice.

Announcing Pre-Conference Institutes---Community, Family, and Consumer

On Friday, April 30, we’re offering three in-depth, 2-hour pre-conference institutes, each with a special focus:

"Steps to Wellness” Introduction:
Building Community Supports

(Community Focus)
This workshop addresses ways, as we move forward in recovery, to turn outside ourselves and work toward developing new relationships and getting involved in the community.


What Really Helps: Practical Steps
You Can Take to Assist Others

(Family Focus)
Delivered from the consumer perspective, this session addresses how to respond in productive and practical ways when someone you care about is experiencing a mental health problem or crisis.

"What Really Helps" Family Institute
Sponsored by Rebecca's Dream

Rebecca's Dream


Getting Well in a Crazy System:
Recovery Still Remains a Reality!

(Consumer Focus)
Even in the midst of a broken system, recovery is still fully possible! Using pictures that illustrate and principles that instruct, this session will help you rethink, retool, and recharge your recovery.  

Early Bird Rate Extended!

Register Now 

We're extending the deadline for our special early bird registration rates to March 14! Now, you have even more time to save on this special 25th anniversary conference celebration! 


Become a Peer Specialist this May

You have a chance this May to learn how to use your experience with mood disorders—and recovery—to help others as a peer specialist. Following the DBSA 2010 National Conference, we’re holding a weeklong peer specialist training course that will give you a foundation in a recovery philosophy and prepare you to work with other consumers to enhance their wellness and treatment strategies. It provides you with a thorough grounding in goal-centered rehabilitation and recovery concepts, builds your skills in creating helpful peer relationships throughout the recovery process, and focuses on ethical practice.

The dates for the course are May 3-May 7, 2010. It will be held at Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca, Illinois. For an outline of this May’s course, click here.
For the application, click here.

We offer our peer specialist training in affiliation with Appalachian Consulting Group, Inc., innovators of the Georgia Certified Peer Specialist Project that pioneered Medicaid-billable peer support services.

 Four hands & power of peers

Looking Back: Our 2009 Peer Specialist Training Sessions

Person-centered, recovery-oriented services have become the watchwords for quality mental health treatment. As peer support continues to be recognized as an important part of treatment, DBSA has been on the forefront. We’re proud to have conducted six peer specialist training courses across the country in 2009: Poplar Bluff, VA; St. Louis, MO; Austin, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Los Angeles, CA; and Chicago, IL. 

The group in West LA was comprised only of veterans who will be part of new research on the effectiveness of peer support within the VA system. One veteran, when asked for his take on the week of training, had this to say: 

I am not a man who smiles much. But this morning, on my way to the training, I suddenly felt the sun on my face
and heard the birds chirping. I almost felt dizzy and I was smiling.  My friend said, “George, what’s wrong with you? You’re smiling.”
I knew I would be spending another day in training with my fellow veterans, learning to motivate consumers to develop
an expectation of recovery.

Here are some other reflections from the West LA participants on what the training meant to them: 

Ray: I enjoyed participating in peer training because it reminded me that there are others like me who are hopeful
and are actively working their recovery….The camaraderie … allowed us to share our experiences to promote
independence amongst ourselves….The training allowed us veterans to come together and work for a common goal:
positive recovery. Secondly, the training inspired me to go after my goals of furthering my education.
I will be attending
California State University in the spring to pursue a graduate degree in sociology. 

Denise: Peer support training was both amazing and informative, surpassing any and all expectations I had going in. 
Not only did the training teach me how to help and support my peers, it also taught me how to help myself. 
I gained excellent coping and processing skills….My life has been fully enriched. 

Cid: I feel more confident and capable of bearing my fears and any unhappiness with courage and optimism.
Completing the training helped me put my past challenges into perspective. It reminded me of how far down the road to recovery
I have actually come. I truly feel like I have some strength and hope to offer other veterans that are still suffering.

Party with Your Peers at 2010 Chapter Leadership Forum (CLF)


DBSA Chapter members are invited to the best party around! Mark your calendar now for Chapter Leadershp Forum 2010: Party with Your Peers! On Thursday, April 29, 2010, the day before the national conference kicks off, DBSA is offering a FREE, one-day forum for DBSA chapter participants from around the country to share their passion and ideas for developing oustanding peer support opportunities. Join your fellow leaders to learn new ways to enhance the quality and scope of your community's chapter...and have some well-deserved fun too! You'll leave CLF reenergized, reconnected, and ready to bring the party home with you.

Note: Registration for CLF is FREE, within guidelines, and is separate from the DBSA 2010 National Conference registration. Learn more at www.DBSAlliance.org/CLF2010.



Leading More People Down the "Pathway to Recovery"

Last November, thirty (30) new DBSA chapter leaders received "Pathways to Recovery" training, and in the next few months, these chapters will kick off their first community "Pathways to Recovery" groups. In 2006, DBSA offered this training to 40 chapter leaders, after reciving permission to develop an eight-week curriculum based on the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare's "Pathways to Recovery" workbooks. These workbooks use a model of self-assesment, self-discovery, and planning that helps individuals set life goals and realize their dreams.

Learn more about "Pathways to Recovery" at www.DBSAlliance.org/Pathways.

New Chapters in December 2009

DBSA Valley of the Sun (Phoenix, AZ)
DBSA Oconto County (Oconto, WI)
DBSA Port Charles (Port Charles, FL)
DBSA Helena/Butte (Helena, MT)

For the Record--Your Thoughts on Clinical Trials

Have you ever thought about participating in a clinical trial? The DBSA Consumer and Family Survey Center wants to know what you think and announces its latest survey, "Clinical Research and Mental Health." This questionnaire addresses issues that are important to consumers and their families when thinking about participating in a research study or clinical trial. The results of this survey will be valuable in DBSA’s work with clinical researchers and our partnerships with institutions such as the National Network of Depression Centers, the Mayo Clinic, and others.

Our first survey, "Attitudes Toward Mental Illness," was a great success--many thanks to all who participated! The results are coming soon to the DBSA Consumer and Family Survey Center, so stay tuned!  

We hope that you will become a regular participant in our surveys; lending your voice can truly help make a difference. And if you have ideas for topics to address in future surveys, we would love to hear them. Please e-mail ADaniels@DBSAlliance. 

 Have Your Say!

New Podcasts: Treatment-Resistant and Postpartum Depression


All the Way Well: Alternatives for Treatment-Resistant Depression
Listen to the podcast

For people who struggle with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), the “usual” treatments like talk therapy and medication don't help much or don't help at all. The sadness, hopelessness and loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable persist. In this podcast, Glenn J. Treisman, MD, PhD, presents the notion that all treatment for mood disorders should strive towards the goal of being "all the way well." He discusses alternatives for treatment, consultation, and follow-up, and offers information that is invaluable for those with TRD or those who are supporting family and friends with mood disorders.

Dr. Glenn Treisman is professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and of Medicine, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is also the course director for the Educational Alliance for Consensus on Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD), with which DBSA is a partner.

Postpartum Depression: More than Just the Blues
Listen to the podcast

Having a baby is a happy time for most women, but many women feel sad, afraid, or anxious after childbirth. While many women experience some mild mood change, or “blues,” during or after the birth of a child, 10-15% of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety…a more serious problem called postpartum depression (PPD). In this podcast, DBSA talks to Shoshana Bennett, PhD, a two-time survivor of life-threatening, undiagnosed postpartum depression, and Susan Dowd Stone, MSW, LCSW, an award-winning psychotherapist, author, and mental health expert. Ms. Stone has long been a staunch advocate for the Melanie Blocker Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act (H.R. 20, S.1375) legislation that will provide PPD public awareness campaigns, education, and funding for research and vital services. Learn more about this legislation and how to support it.

Susan Dowd Stone is chair of Postpartum Support International’s (PSI’s) President’s Advisory Council, as well as an adjunct lecturer on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work.
Dr. Shoshana Bennett is a licensed clinical psychologist and the former president of Postpartum Support International (PSI). She is also the author of several books, including
Pregnant on Prozac and Postpartum Depression for Dummies.

Wellness Tips: Just Do It, Let Others Know, Shop Around

In the Facing Us Clubhouse, consumers who have found small ways to make a big difference in their recovery can share wellness tips like those listed here. Visit the Clubhouse to be inspired by your peers…and to pass on some of your own inspiration.  

Just Do It
Get up at the same time everyday and get moving—no matter what it takes! Get into sunlight or bright light as soon as possible. Eat a good meal. Sing. Keep doing things. Don’t lie in bed and let the depression and anxiety just pull you down deeper. We already know where that leads! (P.S. Don’t drag out of bed and veg out in front of the TV—another pull-me-down into the black hole thing!)

Let Others Know
I am nervous about telling too many people….However, with my family (who always got the brunt of it anyway,) it has helped a great deal with them knowing. Now, I can just say a few words, and they know that it’s time to give mom a little room or she’s gonna blow! I can usually just say a few words, and my family is learning skills to help me deal with the extremes of bipolar and dissociative disorder.

Shop Around
Just like snowflakes, no two therapists are the same. Just like friends, one therapist might be good at certain things that another therapist is not so good at. Therapists are people, and people are different. If you don’t find that your current therapist is helping you, don’t quit and assume therapy doesn’t work for you. Try to find someone else who can relate to you and whose approach fits in with what you need.



Share some of your own “wellness wisdom!"


A Note about FacingUs.org
When you visit the Facing Us Clubhouse, you’ll notice that several "rooms,” including the room that houses wellness tips, require you to log in or create an account. Why is this necessary? Because in these sections, you are creating personal journals, books or a plan that is uniquely yours. So, we need a way to pull your unique information--like pulling your file out of a filing cabinet.  


Joining the Facing Us Clubhouse is easy and FREE! We only need two things to create an account just for you—your e-mail and a password. Please be assured that we will not distribute or sell your information to anyone outside of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. The media room of the site does not require registration. The only reason we require registration for other parts of the site is so that you can create your own personal wellness tools.


Inspiring the Younger Crowd 

Gravengaards and Gotos 
Eric Gravengaard & Liza Michaels Gravengaard and Ciara & Jeff Goto are helping to lead the Rebecca's Dream Auxiliary Board's efforts to reach out to the younger generation. 

As the Rebecca Lynn Cutler Legacy of Life Foundation enters its fifth year, one of its objectives is to begin reaching out to the younger generation. To that end, a group of young professionals who knew the late Becky Cutler has taken under its wing the Rebecca's Dream mission "to promote awareness and compassionate understanding of depression and bipolar disorder as real diseases."

To build a critical mass of support--in both people and in dollars--this Rebecca's Dream Auxiliary Board will hold a launch event on Thursday, February 18, 2010, at Gibson's Bar and Steakhouse, 1028 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois. Tickets priced at one for $50 or two for $90 will provide a fun evening with open bar, hors d'oeuvres, and a raffle.

Paige Hemmis with Steve Propst at 2009 RD Gala







Immediate past DBSA Board Chair Stephen Propst presents the 2009 Rebecca's Dream Legacy of Life Award to Paige Hemmis.

The Fifth Anniversary Rebecca's Dream Gala
Saturday, October 2, 2010
The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

For more information, please check the Rebecca's Dream website. Rebecca's Dream makes numerous educational and wellness programs available,
such as the Rebecca's Dream Family Center.
RCF logo

In the News

PBS's "This Emotional Life" Recommends DBSA as Helpful Resource

This Emotional Life is a three-part series on happiness which PBS premiered January 4, 2010. DBSA is proud to be listed as a featured and recommended resource on the series' website and to have served as a contributor--along with the Mayo Clinic, SAMHSA, and others--during the content development stage of production. If you missed the series, you can catch up at www.PBS.org/ThisEmotionalLife. The segments feature revealing comments from celebrities like Chevy Chase, Larry David, Alanis Morissette, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and Richard Gere.

Let others who visit this site know about the hope, help, and support that DBSA offers--recommend us!   

 This Emotional Life (PBS)

Treatment Technologies brochure cover

New DBSA Brochure--Treatment Technologies for Mood Disorders

This brochure is an update to our 2004 publication, New Technologies in the Treatment of Mood Disorders. It provides a description, as well as an explanation of the side effects, risks, and FDA status, of various treatments that use electrical and/or magnetic currents—in place of medication—to help restore the brain’s chemical balance. These treatments include some which are currently in use such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as well as some which are still under research such as deep brain stimulation (DBS). 

Read Treatment Technologies for Mood Disorders.

The Power of Words--New Mental Health Recovery and Empowerment Dictionary

The Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health is pleased to announce the release of the new Illinois Mental Health Recovery and Empowerment Dictionary. This dictionary was primarily designed by individuals in mental health recovery and parents of children with mental health challenges. It's designed to create more than just an understanding of terms. It is intended to contribute to a culture where communicating clearly, asking one another questions, and seeking greater understanding is of the utmost value. This unique new document has been developed with a recognition of the power of words to uplift and communicate hope.

Download the dictionary.

 Dictionary entry for "communication"