DBSA National Conference 2013: Community Education

Posted by Sappho on June 27th, 2013 filed in Bipolar Disorder, Classes, Lectures, and Conferences


The last Chapter Leadership Forum break out session that I attended, this is one on which I took few notes, mainly because I already had a hand out of the PowerPoint. Here are my notes (combined with just a few notes drawn from the PowerPoint hand out). The break out session leader was Bonnie Rosenthal.

What are groups planning to do? Advertise Spanish speaking group, organize conference of professionals, offer financial assistance with meds, help with transportation.

There is just one requirement for an affiliated chapter: You must provide a support group. There is no requirement for other activities, but there are opportunities.

We heard about three DBSA programs:

DBSA’s Living Successfully with a Mood Disorder

DBSA’s Demystifying Bipolar Disorder (new)

Pathways to Recovery (DBSA has condensed curriculum)

Living Successfully with a Mood Disorder is a curriculum developed in 2006 by and for DBSA chapters. It’s a basic exploration of mood disorders and how you can put your wellness plan in action. It’s 4 sessions, 2 hours per session (but can be modified). The course is not a support group or a replacement for seeking medical help. Depression and bipolar disorder are real illnesses.

Demystifying Bipolar Disorder is a new curriculum by and for DBSA chapters. It’s a community bipolar disorder education program, a 2 hour basic educational session.

Pathways to Recovery days back to 1999, when the curriculum was developed by the University of Kansas by Priscilla Ridgeway, Diane McDiarmid, Lori Davidson, Julie Bayes, and Sarah Ratzclaff. IT has a workbook: Pathways to Recovery – A Strengths Recovery Self-Help Workbook. It is compatible with another widely used recovery program: WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan, developed by Mary Ellen Copeland); the PowerPoint slide here had a quote, “I use WRAP as my personal self-care and wellness plan. I use Pathways as my life plan. Although different tools = very compatible.” In Pathways to Recovery, you learn how to set goals, build circles of support, manage symptoms, and create wellness strategies.

I have more in my hand out (of the slides) about these three programs, but I won’t blog it, because you can go to the links above to find more about the three programs on the DBSA National web site.

Other opportunities: Monthly facilitator chat, an email Listserv (chapters@dbsalliance.org), and a chapter support locator on the DBSA web site that lets you find contact information for different chapters.


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