From a gathering of 6 friends in a suburban Chicago home to a thriving organization serving 4 million people annually, DBSA has seen tremendous growth in its first 35 years. Here are the milestones that reveal where we’ve been — and set the stage for where we’re headed in the decades ahead.
A congressional reception hosted by House Speaker Tip O’Neill with Senators Pete V. Domenici, Orrin Hatch, Daniel K. Inouye, Paul Simon, and U.S. Representative Silvio O. Conte celebrates the establishment of the National Depression and Manic Depression Association (NDMDA), formerly MDA. Katherine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, who years earlier had lost her husband, Phil, to suicide, is the guest speaker. NDMDA uses the slogan “Honk if you’re on lithium” for its new promotional materials.
Frederick K. Goodwin, MD, receives NDMDA’s Dr. Jan Fawcett Humanitarian Award at a gala benefit at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. CBS News correspondent Mike Wallace serves as emcee of the event. The award is named for psychiatrist, educator and author Jan Fawcett, MD, who provided care for Rose Kurland and became her partner in creating a new organization focused on the needs of people with bipolar disorder.
DBSA receives a SAMHSA grant to develop and test a model peer specialist training program.
DBSA meets with two Veterans Administration committees to discuss the integration of certified peer specialists into VA treatment plans.
DBSA produces The State of Depression in America, an award-winning report hosted by CBS News correspondent Mike Wallace. Wallace’s first major bout of depression was triggered in 1984, after U.S. Army General William C. Westmoreland sued Wallace and several others for libel. Westmoreland was featured in the 1982 CBS documentary, The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception, for which Wallace served as chief correspondent. Wallace’s courage in sharing his experiences with depression was lauded by peers and mental health experts alike.
DBSA briefs members of the U.S. Congress on the value of peer support services for military personnel returning home from active duty.
DBSA partners with the University of Michigan Depression Center to begin developing a consumer clearinghouse for depression and bipolar research, helping investigators connect with individuals who may be eligible to take part in groundbreaking studies.
DBSA creates the Young Adult Council to address the unique needs of individuals aged 18 to 30 who live with mood disorders.
In the first-ever congressional briefing initiated entirely by people living with mood disorders, DBSA meets with members of the U.S. Congress to share key findings on the value of peer support. The briefing is also the first session of its kind that focuses fully on peer support as a vital resource for recovery and long-term wellness.
DBSA seeks to end stigma and misunderstanding by publishing 10 Ways to Combat Discrimination with Compassionate Language, a free guide for clinicians, employers, families, friends, public officials, and the media.
DBSA organizes its first Patient Engagement and Stakeholder Workshop, bringing together peers and family members with FDA staff, medical product developers, and clinicians to discuss ways to bring peer-preferred treatment outcomes into the clinical trial process.
With guidance from a specially organized Peer Council, DBSA conducts an in-depth wellness survey. More than 6,400 responses reveal what treatment outcomes matter most to people living with mood disorders.
DBSA updates and improves its Certified Peer Support Specialist Course, offering quality education for those who seek to join the growing peer workforce.