Looking Forward in 2008

Sue Bergeson Health Guide
  • It's hard to believe, but it is 2008 already! As I look forward to the year ahead, I want to tell you that we're preparing several new DBSA programs and services and tracking a variety of trends. I've highlighted some of them here.


    Whole Health

    We have several things in the hopper that address our overall physical and mental health. For example, you should see more smoking cessation and weight management resources from DBSA next year. (It really bothers me that, as consumers, we make up the number one segment of cigarette smokers in this country. Did you know that 41% of us smoke?)


    Online Training

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    We just held our first new online continuing education course for peer specialists, and we'll have one every other month this next year. And I recently closed the deal to offer several new online training events featuring some of the hottest research and researchers in the country-we expect to unveil these programs in the second half of the year. And we're looking at ways to make parts of the educational workshops, etc., that we host at our national conference (and at other times/places) available on our website.


    Clubhouse, Videos, Art

    If you haven't been to the Facing Us Clubhouse yet, you have to go. I love that I can download tips and tools into a journal that's unique to me and my recovery and put a beautiful cover on it, using downloadable art. And that is just one of the things I can do online at the clubhouse. I also personally love the meditation videos.


    Shared Decision-Making Tools

    Other illnesses have tools that help me make good decisions about my health, along with my doctor, based on good science and whatever values and ethics I hold dear. But mental illnesses have no such tools. I want and need to know, for example, what the risk-benefit ratio is for each medication before I agree to take it and whether talk therapy helps more with meds or is as good as meds. DBSA is committed to creating one or more of these tools this year.


    Peers, Peers and More Peers

    I figure the one thing DBSA does best and most authentically is to speak as peers to our peers. So, we'll be continuing the "Train the Trainer" work in our peer-delivered curriculum like "Pathways to Recovery" (created in part by Priscilla Ridgway, PhD, of Yale University's Program for Recovery & Community Health) and "Living Successfully with a Mood Disorder" (created by our training director, Matt Mattson). We also have new, emerging training curriculum on whole health (created by a team of DBSA staff including our peer services VP, Larry Fricks; our executive VP, Peter Ashenden; and our director of scientific affairs, Dr. Brenda Bergeson). And, of course, we'll continue to offer peer specialist training around the country.


    Do you have any suggestions for ways that DBSA can focus on each of these areas? Or are there additional areas that you'd like to see us address?

Published On: January 03, 2008