DBSA Life Unlimited Award
The DBSA Life Unlimited Award was established to honor individuals who exemplify a life unlimited by depression or bipolar disorder and who are actively working to help others do the same. Through the DBSA Life Unlimited Award, DBSA celebrates the strengths, inspiration, and accomplishments of peers.
AJ French Named DBSA 2014 Life Unlimited Award Winner
AJ French embodies living a life unlimited. Despite times when she has literally been unable to speak out loud, AJ is regularly invited for speaking engagements throughout the nation in which she boldly shares her recovery experiences and vision for changing the world. Once homeless, AJ persevered and advocated for herself to gain access to public housing and is now a home owner. Once told she would never work again due to a psychiatric disability, AJ refused to believe the limitations placed on her and demonstrates that it is possible to transition from disability income to earned income, becoming a Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS), a WRAP Recovery Educator, and a Whole Health Action Management (WHAM) Facilitator. Today, AJ serves as the Founding Executive Director of Sacred Creations, a statewide mental health recovery coalition, while pursuing a degree in organizational leadership.
She has not only helped people at the personal and social levels, but she has made an enormous impact at the system level as well. AJ completed her appointment by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to the Statewide Independent Living Council and presently serves as a national council member for the ADA Legacy Project. She also serves on the Illinois Mental Health Planning & Advisory Council. She spearheaded the first peer-organized Recovery & Empowerment Day at the Illinois state capital, co-sponsored by Sacred Creations, Depression Bipolar Support Alliance, GROW, and Next Steps. Her work in the field of mental health has helped thousands of people, the names and faces of which she will never know. AJ works to move people from being hopeless, purposeless, and having no will to live, to having purposeful, hopeful, and empowered lives. She inspires people to know that they can truly recover from a mood disorder and fully participate in their lives, unlimited by a mood disorder and related social inequities.
AJ is an example that even the sky is not the limit for mental health recovery—because of her we know that we can reach the stars!
The award presentation will be on August 17, 2014, at the DBSA National Chapter Leadership Forum in Union, NJ and will be available for viewing via a live web-stream.
Past Award Winners
Stories from of Life Unlimited
In addition to the DBSA Life Unlimited Award, DBSA features a new story of strength and inspiration each month from someone living a life unlimited by depression or bipolar disorder. Check out DBSA’s Stories of Life Unlimited.
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