Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance: A Brief Look

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The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the leading, peer-directed, national organization. DBSA focuses on the two most prevalent mental health conditions, depression and bipolar disorder. These conditions affect more than 21 million Americans, account for 90% of the nation’s suicides every year, and cost $23 billion in lost workdays and other workplace losses.

My treatment has traditionally been comprised of two legs: medicine and therapy. DBSA has provided me a third leg by providing a supportive environment where I feel safe and can decompress with other people who understand what it means to struggle with mental illness. My life has changed for the better by attending these groups. Generally speaking, you do not necessarily have to have depression or bipolar disorder in order to attend meetings. They are accepting and therapeutic for a wide range of diagnoses. If you are struggling with a mental illness, I strongly encourage you to seek out a meeting.

What's Different About DBSA:

  • Peer-led: More than half of the DBSA staff and board members live with a mood disorder and all DBSA support groups are facilitated by peers.

  • Targeted: DBSA focuses solely on depression & bipolar disorder.

  • Nationally recognized: DBSA is nationally recognized for their Peer Specialist training services, mental health advocacy work, expansive peer support network, and as experts on the subject of mood disorders. 

  • Innovative: DBSA provides leading-edge, interactive online resources.

  • Wellness-centered: DBSA informs, empowers, supports, and inspires individuals to achieve the lives they want to lead.

More information can be found at: www.dbsalliance.org

Submitted by: Dave Hill

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

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In the beginning…in 1948, with the help of the government of Great Britain and a Zionist movement the state of Israel came into being.  The history of happenings  is important to remember, however this is about the experiences of the writer in Israel and the west Bank.

I joined a group of people on a pilgrimage to the holy land around early-mid September. The first two days were spent around the sea of Galilee which appeared like the coastal San Diego region. The next day, we went to Jerusalem, where we spent five nights and four days. On the first day, we drove down to Bethlehem where we took a tour of Bethlehem University. There was actually a student from Palestine in the west bank and we said  he looked like an Israeli.  This did not go over too well.  Our spiritual director, Fr. Juan Torres immediately apologized for the mistake.  It was creepy going into Bethlehem since it was completely walled off and separated from the rest of Israel.  There were two types of ID cards issued: blue ones and green ones. About all of the Palestinians received a green card which permitted less travel.  Palestinians could still get a blue one, but travel was still restricted.  Two days from the end of the pilgrimage, the River Jordan was visited; after visiting the Jordan, the pilgrims visited The Dead Sea. On the final day, we visited old town Jerusalem and said the Stations Of The Cross. After they were finished, we proceeded to the Western Wall where I inserted some prayer requests.  

Written in English and Hebrew for some Jewish friends here in Houston.

Submitted by Jacob Klementich

Houston Strong!

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My whole life has been full of ups and downs, yet God has seen me through a lot! Over the years I have noticed something unique about Houston. The people here are fantastic! When I was raising my two kids alone, God and Houston came through for me! I found that even though my faith was weak, I still managed to hang on to a little bit of faith that stayed deeply in my heart. When I had no food and my lights were about to be cut off, Houston stepped up to the plate. Boy, I sure thought on many days I wouldn’t make it! I woke up each morning, feeling lonely and depressed, not knowing how we would survive. I would have sent them people who, out of the blue, could help us. Knowing God made a way out of no way!

Houston means to me that, no matter what your economic status is, the people of the state of Texas will grant you a helping hand. My faith, love, adoration, respect, and caring of Houstonians is of the most high! Especially since Hurricane Harvey hit us, the outpouring of total strangers has been amazing! The coming together of people can produce a lot of help to those less fortunate! When Hurricane Harvey hit, my first thought was, “Who in God’s name would help us?” I found out that God had us covered all along. The outpouring of love I felt for other Houstonians was fabulous. My viewing of the events that took place while Hurricane Harvey was going on made me stop and think about all the catastrophic events that happen from time to time in Houston. We the people always step up to the plate! People give from the heart; it never fails. After all, without us coming together when we are needed in times of stress, financial problems, and family problems, we could not cope as a community! People are looking at us from around the globe! We have to set a great example of our humanitarian efforts to remind the world to love and show compassion and understanding!

Submitted by Amy Johnson