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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: e-Update November 2009


Announcing the DBSA 2010 National Conference--Celebrating 25 Years of Peer Support!

2010 Conference Logo Block

     Celebrate Our 25th Anniversary
this Spring!
DBSA 2010 National Conference
April 30 - May 2, 2010
Eaglewood Resort & Spa
Itasca, IL (Chicago suburb)
Online registration
Mail or fax (download form)
Telephone (800) 826-3632

DBSA got its start 25 years ago with people who wanted to be there for each other as they traveled the road to recovery. So, we’re going back to our roots—our grassroots—and celebrating something that’s absolutely crucial to recovery: peer support. It’s our 25th anniversary, and we're hosting a very special conference in 2010 in honor of a quarter of a century of peer support!

  • We’re having the conference earlier--in the spring--to start the celebration early!
  • We’re inviting you to our home state of Illinois, where it all started!
  • We’re hosting it at a beautiful resort where you can renew, relax, and refresh!

Join us for powerful keynote speakers,
outstanding educational breakouts,
peer roundtables, and so much more!
And yes, it's back for its 3rd year:
DBSA Stand-Up Comedy Night!
Apply to be a stand-up student
and debut at the conference!

Enjoy all of these activities at the beautiful
Eaglewood Resort & Spa,
and renew, relax, and refresh while
you take advantage of all it has to offer!
Get the conference schedule,
registration details, and more at

Tell us the topics you'd like to see
presented at the conference, and you could
receive a FREE conference registration!

Eaglewood Hotel Lobby
Resort & Spa Lobby

Eaglewood Bowling
Resort & Spa Bowling Alley

Eaglewood Terrace
Meet & Greet (Thursday p.m.)
Eaglewood Pool
Water Aerobics (Sunday a.m.)

Building on the Dream at the 4th Annual Rebecca's Dream Gala

Over 250 guests from across the country came together at the beautiful Chicago Cultural Center to celebrate the 4th Annual Rebecca's Dream Gala on Saturday, November 7, 2009. The guest of honor and the recipient of the 2009 Rebecca Lynn Cutler Foundation Legacy of Life Award was Paige Hemmis.
Ms. Hemmis is one of the stars of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, as well the celebrity spokesperson for the Blueprint for Hope campaign, with which DBSA was a partner. In light of Ms. Hemmis's skilled carpentry work on Extreme Makeover—and in recognition of the growing contributions to Rebecca's Dream for the wellness and recovery of hundreds nationwide—the evening’s theme was, appropriately, "Building on the Dream."
Rebecca's Dream was once again emceed by WGN Radio's Steve Cochran. Additional presentations were made by

  • DBSA Chairman Steve Propst
  • DBSA President Peter C. Ashenden
  • Rebecca's Dream Founders and Chairs Gail and Norman Cutler
  • Rebecca's Dream Co-Chair Brett Cutler

2009 RD Gala with Hemmis, Ashenden, and Cutlers
Paige Hemmis, 2009 Legacy of Life Awardee,
with DBSA President Peter Ashenden, and
Rebecca's Dream Founders and Chairs,
Gail and Norman Cutler

The music of the Steve Edwards Orchestra had everyone up and dancing. And the silent auction inspired brisk bidding thanks to the participation of Charity Sports Auctions, Knightsbridge Wine Shoppe, and Shelle Jewelers. The evening generated nearly $250,000 for the Rebecca Lynn Cutler Legacy of Life Foundation, which helps to support crucial initiatives that promote awareness and compassionate understanding of depression and bipolar disorder as real diseases.
Many thanks to everyone who attended this special event!

Stay tuned to
for details about the
5th Anniversary Rebecca's Dream Gala
at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
on October 2, 2010!

Last Chance to Win $1,000!

Share your talents—and your recovery story—on film, and you could win up to $1,000! But you’ve only got until December 1, so don’t delay! Send us your personal video by December 1 to be entered into the DBSA 2009 Facing Us Contest for a chance to win a cash prize!

$1,000 (1st Place)
$600 (2nd Place)     
$400 (3rd Place)

DBSA 2009 "Facing Us" Video Contest

Help break stigma, inspire your peers,
and share your talents!
Submit your video story at

Peer Specialist Training Updates

Four hands & power of peers

Time’s Running Out—Next Peer Specialist Training

Don't miss your chance to apply for DBSA's next peer specialist training course! The course takes place December 7–11, 2009, in Chicago, Illinois, at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
The course fee is $950 per person. This includes the cost of training, materials, daily continental breakfast, and beverage breaks as well as post-training certification testing. Participants are responsible for their own hotel accommodations, travel, and other meals.
Enrollment is limited! Download the application here.

On the Road Again

September was a busy month for DBSA peer specialist training! We're excited to have had 79 people participatie in two courses offered in Indiana and Texas. And we were especially happy to welcome a significant number of Peer Support Technicians employed by Department of Veterans Affairs facilities throughout the country: Washington, Florida, Oregon, New Jersey, Arkansas—even Hawaii! As always, our participants enthusiastically embraced this chance to understand their unique role in the recovery of others and to learn specific peer support techniques and tools.

We would like to thank the Central Texas VA facilities and Austin State Hospital for their initiative in helping make this course a reality. We’re also grateful to Austin Tarrant County MHMR for both its sponsorship and for hosting the course at their training facility.

Learn more about peer specialists and DBSA’s training courses.

Chapter Update--Help Us Plan the 2010 Chapter Leadership Forum!

Because DBSA is holding our conference in the spring of 2010, that means the next Chapter Leadership Forum (CLF) is just around the corner! CLF offers an opportunity for DBSA chapter leaders and participants to come together from around the country to learn from one another. Help us make CLF in 2010 the best yet by letting us know what you would like to see!

If you have a topic you would like
to see presented at the 2010 CLF--or if you have
a session YOU would like to present--
click here.

Stay tuned to for the latest updates!

CLF 2007

Attitudes Toward Mental Illness

Have Your Say!

Help us understand the issues people face every day when it comes it mental illness. The survey, “Attitudes Toward Mental Illness,” focuses on issues related to living with mood disorders, the impact on family and friends, and care that is provided.

We’ll use your feedback to help determine what programs and resources will be the most helpful…and also to inform the general public on these issues the consumer community faces. 

To share your ideas for future topics, e-mail ADaniels@DBSAlliance.

What Treatment Strategies Work Best for You?

DBSA is working with Australian author Graeme Cowan to produce a book called BACK FROM THE BRINK: Americans Tell their Stories of Overcoming Depression. His Australian version was incredibly successful because of its in-depth interviews with real people who came “back from the brink” of a mood disorder…and wanted to share the strategies that helped them do that.
Graeme's conducting a unique survey that asks Americans living with depression and bipolar disorder which treatments and strategies work best for them. It explores exercise, support of family and friends, relaxation, psychological counseling, fulfilling work, nutrition, antidepressant medication, and more.

No one knows better than YOU what works best.
Let us know!

DBSA Consumer and Family Survey Center
Take the survey,
“Holistic Depression Effectiveness.”

Tell us the treatments and strategies that
have helped you.

Ever Thought of Using Light Therapy?

Help researchers learn more about this treatment and what users think of it by taking a survey. Click here, or paste this link into your browser:

This research is conducted by The University of Pittsburgh and is for academic research purposes only. Please feel free to contact Kathryn Roecklein, PhD, for more information

Be Part of a National Dialogue to Help Us Make a Healthier Nation

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services invites you to comment on the DRAFT set of objectives for Healthy People 2020. For three decades, Healthy People has provided a set of national 10-year health promotion and disease prevention objectives aimed at improving the health of all Americans.
Visit to
•        View proposed draft objectives for Healthy People 2020.
•        Comment on the proposed objectives.
•        Comment on the topic areas.
•        Suggest additional objectives.
•        Make a general comment.
Your comments will help ensure issues important to you are included in Healthy People. Establishing objectives and providing benchmarks to track progress motivates, guides, and focuses action. Be part of the change. Comments will be accepted through December 31, 2009.
Visit today. Your feedback will help define the vision and strategy for building a healthier Nation.

Wellness & Inspiration

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.

Hispanic family laughing

"Write lists! Write a weekly list of things that you would like to be able to achieve. Then write a daily list and write things down as you do them. Doing one or two tasks from the weekly list each day within your routine helps get things down without feeling overwhelmed and ending up in a swing and not doing any of it."

"In my family, I am not the only one who struggles with this disorder…we have a code…when I (or another member of my family) says “I'M HAVING A BAD DAY,” it means we need a little extra space and a little more flexibility in our day for our moods, thoughts, and feelings. This code allows us to express the fact that we are struggling without allowing us to wallow in the struggle of the day. It's a code that can work in almost any situation."

"We live with serous illnesses, but that does not mean we have to always deal with it seriously. Learn to laugh and use humor as a great coping skill. I do it--it works!"

Share some of your own “wellness wisdom!"


Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: e-Update November 2009

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