News From National Summer – 2016
Sometimes in the whirl or difficulties of our daily lives, we forget that DBSA-Boston is part of a larger organization and movement for mental health awareness and change. Even as some of us may be in the grips of experiences that interfere with our motivation or ability to participate as fully as we would like, others of us go about our business with the usual ups and downs of work, career, family and friends in spite of them. Where does the line of debilitating to “abilitating” cross?
DBSA National reminds us of our larger community, provides online resources and a wealth of opportunities to participate wherever we may find ourselves on the wellness/illness spectrum. Because the illness phases of our conditions often narrow our world, we forget that we are still powerful both as individuals and collectively regardless of how we temporarily feel.
Last year, DBSA focused on the “I to We” Campaign—“Illness” to “Wellness” and the idea that together “we” not only source our strength and resiliency, but also source our capacity to make a difference in the world. “We” are stronger together.
This year, “we” are kicking it up a notch with the “We Are Powerful” Campaign: we are powerful “In Our Own Lives,” “In the Lives of Others,” and “In the World.” Like “wellness,” “powerful” also contains “we.” Each month there are opportunities to think differently, take on practices and/or share our experiences with others in a way that exemplifies and supports the difference we make in one or more of these areas.
May has been “I am resilient.” We consider why it is that some people come back stronger than ever after they’ve been knocked down. How have they developed that hard-to-define quality of resiliency? Psychologists say resilience is not extraordinary or inborn. It’s really quite ordinary, lying in a positive attitude, optimism, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback—all of which can be learned! What steps can we take this month to practice “resiliency?”
“I am resilient,” or other monthly themes of the “We Are Powerful” campaign, can make for rich discussion in our support groups. Even as DBSA-Boston urges all of us to give back to our organization when and how we can—whether representing us in the NAMI walk, facilitating, volunteering to organize or help out at our social events, attending groups, etc.—DBSA offers the same. There are opportunities to send a quick email to our congressmen in support of mental health legislation, share in online support groups when getting to Belmont is a challenge and/or use the many other resources that remind us that we are a contribution even if we don’t always feel like it. There would be a missing in the world of what it is to be human if we weren’t here to express it.
So, check out what’s available at www.dbsalliance.org. There is no DBSA National without DBSA-Boston, and our nationwide network of in-person support groups. And, there is no cure for the human condition that gives rise to our mental health conditions, but together—being who we are where are—can eliminate stigma and I believe that is a cure we all can get behind!