Register for Hill Day at Home 2022!

Each year, DBSA participates in this virtual mental health advocacy event hosted by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Hill Day is a chance to hear from policy experts and demand action from your elected officials.

Please join us online for Hill Day at Home 2022 on Wednesday, June 8 – registration is free! This is a chance for you to:

  • Advocate in real-time for mental health issues that matter to you.
  • Hear from policy leaders on the latest developments from Capitol Hill.
  • Gain new insight into the Biden administration’s mental health care agenda.
  • Discover new solutions and strategies for maximizing your advocacy, including tips for getting a meeting with your lawmaker and making that time count.

Register today to reserve your seat!

Hill Day is more than just an annual virtual learning event – it’s a community coming together to raise awareness of lifesaving legislation and urge lawmakers to invest in critical mental health care funding.

Make sure to enter DBSA as your organization.

Let’s demonstrate the power of our unified voice and demand action from elected officials in support of mental health and substance use policies, programs, and organizations.

By raising our voices together, we can make a big difference.

Please support this work by forwarding this message to colleagues, family, and friends who are passionate about this cause to assist us in this grassroots effort to make our voice heard.

To continue to receive communications about issues that support access to quality mental healthcare,

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Take Your Allyship Beyond Pride Month

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and advocate for further acceptance. Companies incorporate rainbows into their logos and post statements about inclusion on their websites, but the urgency to support the LGBTQ+ community quickly fades in July. Being a true ally undoubtedly takes longer than a month and is so much more than rainbows and attending a pride march—it is a commitment.

Allyship is an ongoing process of learning about one’s privilege and then actively working to include marginalized populations as equal members of society. Examining one’s place within oppressive systems can be inherently uncomfortable and takes courage, humility, and vulnerability.

There is a huge difference between authentic and performative allyship. That difference revolves around intention and action. Performative allies publicly display knowledge against injustices and inequity but do not use their resources and privilege to create legitimate change. It is critical to ask yourself, would I still do this if no one was watching?

‘Ally’ is not a title bestowed upon you without consistent action. It is not static. Authentic allyship continually supports underrepresented communities by listening to their experiences, building trusted relationships, and creating safe and affirming spaces for their voices to be heard.

Here are basic ways to respectfully expand your allyship:

  • Listen and amplify voices from marginalized communities
  • Ask educated questions but also take responsibility for your own education.
  • Recognize the complexity of identity and how it intersects with race, age, class, etc.
  • Use the pronouns and names people want you to use—and respectfully correct individuals that misgender someone.
  • Get involved and stay engaged.
  • Support 365 days every year, not just for a month.
  • Donate your time and money.

You will make mistakes—and that is OK—but please remember allyship has more to do with learning from those mistakes and being compassionate rather than getting caught up in striving to be perfect. Progress not perfection.

Self Advocacy

Warmer temperatures, increased daylight, and new growth of greenery, is associated with rebirth and renewal. According to studies by the National Institute of Health, mania occurs most often in the spring, and unfortunately, so does suicide.

A possible theory for this phenomenon rests in the hypothalamus, an area in the brain which controls circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are the body and brain’s activity patterns that cycle through an approximately 24-hour period. Circadian rhythms include the sleep-wake state, hormonal activity, body temperature, digestion, and immune function.

With our circadian rhythms synchronized to the earth’s rotation, yearly seasonal changes like spring can affect our mood. Given these biological and environmental circumstances, health care providers, such as Charlie Health, advocate for a more mindful approach to self-care during seasonal transitions.

Charlie Health recommends three actions to make it through spring in a blog post, Spring Season and Mental Health.

Find routine: Finding consistency even with one daily self-care routine or habit can be beneficial in grounding yourself during any change.

Focus on sleep: Prioritizing sleep is a must. Charlie Health advises setting two alarms, “one that tells you to GO TO BED, and one that tells you to WAKE UP.”

Ask for help: Recognizing the spring season can be challenging to your mood and reaching out for support is a step in processing emotions.

To find more self-advocacy­­ tips, visit DBSA’s website for free resources, wellness tools, stories of inspiration, and online support groups.

Briefly Noted

  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed an amendment titled “Mental Health Peer Services” to H.R. 7666, the “Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022”. This bill expands on the Virtual Peer Support Act that DBSA has been advocating for and would create new opportunities for peer support services. The bill now goes to the full House of Representatives and then, if passed, to the Senate.
  • The House Education and Labor Committee has developed mental health legislation – HR 7780 The Mental Health Matters Act – including various school mental health and parity provisions.  This bill is also now waiting for House action.
  • Senators Chris Murphy (CT) and Bill Cassidy (LA) have introduced the Mental Health Reform Reauthorization Act of 2022. This bill would ensure that many of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s current programs would be continued along with several new programs to implement the 988 crisis line and improve crisis response services.
  • The DBSA Peer and Policy Advancement team met with senior leadership of various government agencies the week of May 16th. Topics discussed included certification and improved training opportunities for peer support workers and mental health parity. Members of the team also met with a number of our advocacy partners to update them on our current priorities.