DBSA e-Update February 2009
|DBSA 2009 National Conference||Peer Services & Training||New Clinicians' Portal||In the News|
|Children's Health Bill Passes||Chapter Update||Wellness Tips|
This September 10-13 in Indianapolis, network with your peers at the DBSA 2009 National Conference: Peer Connections. Get connected with a life-changing current of energy…through Victoria Maxwell’s latest stage show, David Granirer’s comedy, our Peer Roundtables, and a growing lineup of renowned speakers. And you'll find an exciting current of energy in Indianapolis, a city that's so much more than just a mecca for Indy 500 racing fans! As The Washington Post notes, the city has “10 world-class sports venues [but] that is just a fraction of its cultural institution tally: 14 museums, 21 galleries & 25 performing arts centers & theaters.”
We're in the process of finalizing our keynote and breakout presenters and hope to have exciting news for you shortly! Currently confirmed as speakers are the following mental health leaders and experts:
- Darby Penney (researcher, author, ex-patient). Darby is co-author of The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic and will discuss the stirring Willard Suitcase Exhibit, a project she co-created which examines the rich and complex lives of those committed to a New York state institution.
- David Granirer (stand-up comic, counselor, author, consumer). In addition to Stand-Up Comedy Night, a smash hit at last year’s conference, David will also speak on humor and stigma in “I’m OK but YOU Need Professional Help.”
- Victoria Maxwell (actress, playwright, educator, consumer). Besides offering the post-conference institute, “Staying Well and Productive at Work,” Victoria will close out the conference with a performance of her latest one-woman show, “Funny…You Don’t Look Crazy?!”
Peer Connections: DBSA 2009 National Conference
Thursday, September 10 (Chapter Leadership Forum)
Friday, September 11, morning (pre-conference institutes)
Friday, September 11 noon—Sunday, September 13, noon (conference)
Sunday, September 13, afternoon (post-conference institutes)
Get Connected at
Are You a Chapter/Support Group Participant? Register for Less!
We’re thrilled this year to offer discount registration rates for DBSA chapter & support group participants! Sign up before May 3, and for just $80, you can attend the FULL conference (Friday noon-Sunday noon). To register for less, download the Chapter Registration Form. (Online registration is coming soon!)
Many thanks to all of you who sent letters to your representatives and senators supporting the State Children’s Insurance Program (SCHIP). The original legislation was set to expire this March 31, but with your help, the legislation passed in both the House and Senate! After H.R. 2 passed in the House with a vote of 289-139, the SCHIP legislation was introduced in the Senate, S. 275, almost identical to what passed in the House. The Senate legislation passed on Thursday, January 29, 2009, with a vote of 66-32.
The legislation will reauthorize the SCHIP program to expand coverage to four million more children over the next four and a half years. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that 1.6 million of these are uninsured children who would be eligible for SCHIP or Medicaid under current state eligibility rules…but who, without this legislation, would be unenrolled and uninsured. Another 1.8 million are SCHIP children who would otherwise lose their coverage in coming years and end up uninsured, because states wouldn’t receive enough federal SCHIP funding to carry on their existing programs.
Experts say SCHIP has been instrumental in reducing the rate—by almost a third—of low-income children without insurance…even as the rate for adults has climbed. SCHIP will also eliminate the five-year waiting period previously required for documented immigrant children and pregnant women to become eligible.
Did your legislators support this legislation? If so, why not thank them for their effort? So often, we ask our legislators to take action…why not thank them for having done so and ensuring that this important program continues!
Want to stay on the cutting edge of recovery-focused skills and information? Then, head to the Web for DBSA’s latest learning opportunities! New webinar classes are coming soon through the DAB eLearning Center, a project developed in partnership between DBSA and Victoria Maxwell/Crazy for Life. Registration will be available soon for our March and April webinars (see details below), which address trauma-informed services and how to fight the sobering statistic of a 25-year-shorter life.
Online registration is coming soon; the fee is $75.00, and participants who complete a post-course exam are eligible for a continuing education (CE) certificate for peer specialists. Future webinars include “Walking the Talk: Doing a Recovery Audit of Your Organization’s Program Environment,” plus a series of team webinars for peer specialists and their supervisors. For more information on these and other learning opportunities, click here or call (800) 826-3632.
Trauma-Informed Services: What You Need to Know
March 24, 2009 (Tuesday)
2:00-3:30 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST)
This webinar will provide a baseline of knowledge on trauma, including its effects, the meaning of symptoms, and how to help traumatized individuals in any setting. Back by popular demand is instructor Elizabeth Vermilyea, MA, of Traumatic Stress Recovery Consulting.
Ms. Vermilyea is also an independent consultant specializing in traumatic stress consultation, training, and program development in Maryland. Formerly of The Sidran Institute, she is the author of Growing Beyond Survival: A Self-Help Tool Kit for Managing Symptoms of Traumatic Stress, which teaches survivors how to independently de-escalate the most distressing trauma symptoms.
Our Quiet Tragedy: The 25-Year Gap and What We Can Do About It
April 21, 2009 (Tuesday)
2:00-3:30 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST)
Consumers who use public mental health services die 25 years younger than other Americans. In this course, learn why, as well as what can be done by peer supporters and other stakeholders. The featured instructor is Ron Manderscheid, PhD, Director of Mental Health and Substance Use Programs in the Global Health Sector for SRA International, Inc.
In his role at SRA, Dr. Manderscheid develops new demonstration and research projects addressing mental health and substance use services, programs, and systems, using a public health framework. He previously served as Branch Chief, Survey and Analysis Branch, for the federal Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), SAMHSA. During the Clinton National Health Care Reform debate, he served as Senior Policy Advisor on National Health Care Reform in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has also served as principal editor for eight editions of SAMHSA’s Mental Health, United States.
As DBSA moves further into 2009, we’ve pulled together a group of talented chapter leaders from around the U.S. to help us create the most effective programs for chapters. Eight leaders will be serving on this advisory committee, representing DBSA chapters of various sizes, geographic locations, and scopes of work. The committee will hold quarterly meetings to discuss potential new opportunities for chapters, as well as help identify topics of interest for existing programs like Chapter Leadership Forum and our monthly Chapter Quality Teleconferences.
The new Chapter Advisory Committee wants to be sure we’re representing all DBSA chapters, so tell us what you think through surveys like our Chapter Leadership Forum and Quality Teleconference Survey. We want to hear from you!
If you have any questions about the Chapter Advisory Committee, or would like to submit your ideas, please contact Ingrid Deetz at ideetz@DBSAlliance.org or (800) 826-3632, ext. 157.
New Chapters in January
DBSA Northwest Georgia Parents (Rome, Ga.)
DBSA Greater Taunton (Taunton, Mass.)
DBSA Faribo (Faribault, Minn.)
The new DBSA Clinicians’ Portal is dedicated to opening the door to truly empowered patient-provider partnerships. The best outcomes occur when the physician and patient are collaborative partners in the treatment decision-making process. And, as a consumer-run organization, DBSA can offer physicians, therapists, and other mental health providers unique insight into the needs of their patients and clients. Because “we’ve been there,” we truly can help…not just consumers but clinicians as well.
This new section of our website, at www.DBSAlliance.org/Clinicians, offers the following resources for mental health professionals:
- Links to the key study, “Predictors of Bipolar Disorder Risk Among Patients Currently Treated for Major Depression.” This research project studied patients who have been unsuccessfully treated with antidepressants and identified five significant predictors of bipolar disorder. These predictors may help providers better assess a patient's risk for this illness and could, consequently, lead to better treatment.
In a recent podcast with DBSA, one of the research directors, Joseph R. Calabrese, MD, spoke about the differences—in terms of symptoms and treatment—between depression and bipolar disorder, especially bipolar II disorder. Among the topics he discussed are the subtle and often-overlooked symptoms of hypomania; the several elements of treatment, including medication (traditional antidepressants versus mood stabilizers); and the importance of mood tracking, as well as family and peer support.
- New DBSA brochure, Mood Disorders and Different Kinds of Depression, created in collaboration with Joseph R. Calabrese, MD, researcher, psychiatrist, and member of DBSA’s Scientific Advisory Board. Helpful for both consumers and clinicians, this brochure discusses the differences between unipolar and bipolar depression, as well as why bipolar disorder is difficult to diagnose.
- Clinicians’ Bookstore, featuring books written, or recommended, by members of DBSA's Scientific Advisory Board, 67 of the leading researchers and clinicians in the field of mood disorders.
- And much more! Providers will also find published DBSA studies and survey results; tools for patients, such as the interactive wellness website, FacingUs.org; links to our free and confidential screening center;
and information on clinical trials, DBSA support groups, etc.
If you are a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, or other mental health professional
seeking more meaningful collaboration with your patients,
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.
What do you put on your resume if you’ve been out on disability for a period of time? I was on disability for four years before I was able to re-enter the workforce. I looked at my skills, one of which was editing. I had volunteered to help edit two publications without pay. So, on my resume, I listed “Freelance Editor, Self-Employed” to cover the gap. No one needed to know that I only did two projects or that the work was done for free. I successfully got a new job with this on my resume.
When I feel overwhelmed with anxiety, I sometimes take out my journal and make a “worry list.” I start with the sentence stem, “I am worried that…”, and finish the sentence with as many things as I can think of. I don’t stop until I cannot think of any more. One time I had 31 worries! Getting all those worries written out is better than having them swirling around in my head. It helps me feel a little more in control.
When I go through a depression, I’ve found it helpful to reframe my limitations in terms of “I can’t ____, but I can ____.” I don’t remember where I learned this, but I am grateful to whoever invented this coping strategy. An example is “I can’t do a lot of activities with my daughter, but I can encourage her to have her friends over to keep her engaged and entertained.” Or “I can’t work right now, but I can do a bit of volunteering to make me feel productive and useful.”
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.
On December 17, 2008, DBSA’s Dr. Allen Daniels, vice president of scientific affairs, and Jim McNulty, vice president
of peer support, attended two significant transition meetings for the incoming Obama administration. The first meeting, was convened by the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), a division of SAMHSA. It brought together many representatives from a wide range of mental health organizations, It was a listening forum for CMHS leadership to hear about the state of public mental/behavioral health services in a reform environment, and it addressed five key areas:
Health Care Reform and Public Health System Integration: How do we ensure that mental health is at the forefront of the national dialogue for real health care reform? How do we facilitate and integrate public mental health and primary care service systems?
Behavioral Health Service Capacity: What are the emerging and pressing capacity needs across the nation regarding mental health and co-occurring substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery support services?
Infrastructure, Financing, and Sustainability: Considering the discussion/responses provided for these questions, how do we ensure that the required infrastructure, financing, and sustainability plans and tools are in place?
Performance Measurement and Accountability: How do we define the essential value added of mental health service systems in a new performance-oriented era of accountability and developing health technology? How can we capture the impact of the needs, demand, and effectiveness of public mental health services systems across the nation? What would be appropriate ways to measure outcomes for services provided to those with mental and substance use conditions?
Final Recommendations: Given this previous discussion, what are some specific recommendations as we transition into a new administration?
Those in attendance were divided into work groups and offered summaries of their group's conversations. An overall summary of the meeting is currently being developed. CMHS has pledged to use this information in its meetings with the new Obama administration. (Continue reading.)
Kay Redfield Jamison Interviewed by bp Magazine at DBSA 2008 National Conference
Always in demand, Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD, was tapped by bp Magazine for an interview while she was in Norfolk, Virginia, last September to give a keynote presentation at the DBSA 2008 National Conference. The interview, featured in the magazine's current Winter 2009 issue, is titled "Kay Redfield Jamison: A profile in courage." The following is an excerpt:
The small woman in the black sweater sitting near the podium at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) annual conference in Norfolk, Virginia, was intent on her notes, preparing for her keynote address to the crowded auditorium.
One by one, her admirers appeared. They lined up to ask her about medications and doctors, or to vent their frustrations about a medical system that often seems to little understand their illness. And one by one, Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD, listened patiently and answered their questions.