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Interactive Clubhouse Website for Those Living with Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Chicago, December 2007- The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) will launch FacingUs.org, an unique website with innovative and interactive features that will enable those living with depression and bipolar disorder to create their own personal wellness tools to aid them on their road to recovery.  Users will be able to create customize personal journals, wellness plans and wellness books that can be printed with artistic covers.  The site is designed to be a "clubhouse", an online community that provides inspiration and encouragement to others.  FacingUs.org was created to provide a safe haven for those living with mood disorders.

"We are delighted to roll out the welcome mat for our new FacingUs.org website", said DBSA Executive Vice President Peter Ashenden.  "We want this to be a special place where visitors can spend quiet time if they'd like-journaling, meditating, doing yoga- or browsing the media room to look at art or listen to an audio presentation, early in the morning or in the middle of the night.  This is truly going to be an extraordinary place that will provide hope, help and support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week- a place for people to share with others who have been there- and a place to nourish both mind and spirith."

Although the site is designed for people living with depression and bipolar disorder, it is open to anyone interested in personal wellness.  The Facing Us Clubhouse was built to be a comfortable environment where users can feel at home.  Once they 'step' inside, they can choose from a myriad of features designed to help them on their path to achieving and maintaining wellness.  They will be able to:

  • Develop a wellness plan to help keep their days balanced and positive
  • Keep a personal online journal of their daily feelings and emotions.  Entries are completely private.
  • Share wellness tips with others on ways to maintain good mental and physical health.
  • Create a wellness book filled with tips for maintaining a healthy life.  These tips can be a good combination of personal tips and those chosen from a library of shared tips that have been posted to the site by other users.  While each person's book remains private, in mid-December, users will be able to create books for others as a way to offer inspiration and support to friends and family members.
  • Print a copy of their wellness book, wellness plan and personal journal as a book with beautiful artwork as a cover
  • Browse the multimedia room for a variety of art, audio and video presentations, public messages and personal vide stores. Visitors are welcome to submit their own personal video stories to share.
  • Send an e-postcard with a birthday greeting or simple message of support.
  • Connect to important resources that offer additional information about, and resources for, mood disorders.
  • Feel secure knowing that all of the site's activities are completely private and confidential.

The FacingUs.org website is the second phase of a larger campaign aimed at putting a real face on depression and bipolar disorder, two illnesses that affect as many as 35 million Americans.  The campaign was designed to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illness and help people understand that these are real, medical and treatable illnesses.  Phase one of the campaign was a nationwide contest calling for personal video stories, original artwork and video public service announcements.  Winning entries can be viewed in the multimedia room on the Facing Us website, www.FacingUs.org.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the nation's leading patient-directed organization focusing on depression and bipolar disorder.  The organization, which has more than 1,000 support groups nationwide, fosters an understanding about the impact and maangement of these life-threatening illnesses by providing up-to-date, scientifically based tools and information.  Assisted by a 65-member scientific advisory board comprised of the leading researchers and clinicians in the field of mood disorders.  DBSA supports research to promote more timely diagnosis, develop more effective and tolerable treatments, and discover a cure. Nearly 5 million people receive information and assistance each year.  For more information, please visit www.DBSAlliance.org or call (800) 826-3632.

To find out more about Facing Us, visit www.FacingUs.org.


Date Published: 12/13/2007
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