Milestones In My Recovery Journey: DBSA Albuquerque & New Mexico Highlands University

DBSA Albuquerque presented “Milestones In My Recovery Journey” at New Mexico Highlands University, at the Rio Rancho campus. We were invited to present by Dr. Linda Silber for her criminal justice/law enforcement class, focusing on peer interactions with law enforcement, told from personal life experiences of Rasma Cox, Marion Crouse, and Steve Bringe.

Rasma and Steve sit on the Mental Health Response Advisory Committee (MHRAC) and also present at the CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) training for the Albuquerque Police Department. Marion also has very positive and helpful views concerning APD.

Dr. Silber was kind enough to provide feedback from the students, as well as her impressions of our DBSA Albuquerque education program.

Dr. Linda Silber:

I think it’s very important for students entering any aspect of law enforcement to know more about mental illness generally. Your panel of experts was very helpful in debunking stereotypes. The group was informative and interesting. I especially liked the Q & A section, and appreciated that the presenters were willing to answer any question. And the fact that the presentation was informal made it more possible for students to relax and feel comfortable asking questions.

The Students:

I thought it was very admirable that these individuals came and were able to be so transparent and unashamed of the difficulties they were experiencing.  They were able to discuss, brainstorm and problem solve the areas in their life that they felt needed to work on.  These three individuals were very well inspiring and I would recommend them for another class.  I personally as a future law enforcement agent would like to know how  I could better help them when I am out on the streets. 

The presentation was good, I enjoyed the presenters and how they added their personal stories so that we can understand their point of view. The fact that they are involved with the police organization is a good idea to help others who may deal with the same issues. Overall the presentation was good, I received feedback and information that was helpful of mental illness. We were not able to get on their level of understanding but at least we were able to get an idea. That was the main point of the presentations.  I woud recommend it in the future because there was some good information. 

The whole presentation was very helpful and informative. I really liked how open and honest all of the presenters were and also how they were willing to answer all the questions. They also helped me to understand to see the person not the illness. They also showed me how judgmental I can be as a person.

I think the information presented by all three speakers was very helpful. Knowing they are working with APD, and training them on how to work with people who have disabilities, is an excellent idea. I personally think the training should be more than 40 hours, since the minimum amount of firearm training is 60 hours. There should be some type of mandatory certification/recertification process for officers on a 6-12 month basis. Yes I would recommend the presentation for another class. 

The presentation provided by the three individuals about their mental illnesses, when and how they were first diagnosed, interactions they’ve had with police and how they are speaking out on creating more resources and training city police officers. I thought this was a very interesting topic! It made me more aware that this is a big issues in communities and that our police officers need to become more aware and receive training from professional’s that way we keep our officers safe as well as the mentally ill in our communities. I appreciate the time they took to come into our class and their vulnerability to speak out about their own personal experiences! I would recommend another lecture like this to other classes.

They each found there own ways of dealing with their mental illness whether it was medication, therapy, or both. They also have learn to accept their mental illness and find positive outcomes for each of them selves. Yes, I do recommend them to present in other classes. As long as it relates to topics in the class.

I thought the presentation given was really good and interesting. I also liked how they were open to answer any questions we asked and didn’t seem to mind when they were asked personal questions or when they shared personal stories about encounters with police officers.Yes, I would recommend this presentation to another class  however I think they needed more information of how it ties in with law enforcement. 

I felt the guest speakers we had the other day were very open and honest about themselves and their mental health. I feel that is a big deal especially to deal with personally. I think dealin with it is one thing but having so many people look at you differently when they find out is another. I don’t judge them for the way they are and I think they are amazing for just coming to our class to speak to us. I appreciate them helping us understand more about their issues and yes I would recommend them talking to other classes in law enforcement just to help them understand more about how it may help law enforcement officers help them.

The group panel was very intresting. Hearing each speaker talk about their diagnosis and incidents with police gave me a different perspective on how police handle these types of situations. 

I would recommend this for another class. Hearing real stories is useful instead of reading from the text. 

thought the guest speakers were great. I’m glad they were very open to answer any question. They were honest. I am glad they’re working with law enforcement. I think community involvement is helpful for individuals with mental illness. Yes I would recommend more guest speakers putting out the awareness for mental illness.

I thought the guest speakers were great. I’m glad they were very open to answer any question. They were honest. I am glad they’re working with law enforcement. I think community involvement is helpful for individuals with mental illness. Yes I would recommend more guest speakers putting out the awareness for mental illness.

I found it interesting to see how the police handled each of their own mental issues in their own individual situations. It was interesting to hear how they each struggled with their mental health issues. I found the presentation to be beneficial because I want to be involved in programs like the ones they are involved in. Overall, I think they shared good, personal information that provided an insight on police and the mentally ill. I would recommend this presentation to be done again.

What I found interesting was that they were working with APD. It is important that APD learns how to help people with illnesses because sometimes people with illnesses may not realize that what they are doing is wrong. It was also good how well they presented and how they did care what anybody thought about them.
Thank you,


Green Day’s new song “Still Breathing” sings the Peer Experience

Seminal rock band Green Day has a new tune out called “Still Breathing.” The tune resonates with notes of the Peer Experience. Heartwarming, inspirational, and just plain funky is this tune.

Thanks, Billie Joe, Mike, and Tre for the tuneage. Well done, bravo, rock on.

You can listen and watch the official lyric video here:

Still Breathing by Green Day

“Still Breathing”

I’m like a child looking off on the horizon
I’m like an ambulance that’s turning on the sirens
Oh, I’m still alive
I’m like a soldier coming home for the first time
I dodged a bullet and I walked across a landmine
Oh, I’m still alive

Am I bleeding? Am I bleeding from the storm?
Just shine a light into the wreckage, so far away, away

‘Cause I’m still breathing
‘Cause I’m still breathing on my own
My head’s above the rain and roses
Making my way away
‘Cause I’m still breathing
‘Cause I’m still breathing on my own
My head’s above the rain and roses
Making my way away
My way to you

I’m like a junkie tying off for the last time
I’m like a loser that’s betting on his last dime
Oh, I’m still alive
I’m like a son that was raised without a father
I’m like a mother barely keeping it together
Oh, I’m still alive

Am I bleeding? Am I bleeding from the storm?
Just shine a light into the wreckage, so far away, away

‘Cause I’m still breathing
‘Cause I’m still breathing on my own
My head’s above the rain and roses
Making my way away
‘Cause I’m still breathing
‘Cause I’m still breathing on my own
My head’s above the rain and roses
Making my way, away, away…

As I walked out on the ledge
Are you scared to death to live?
I’ve been running all my life
Just to find a home that’s for the restless
And the truth that’s in the message
Making my way, away, away

‘Cause I’m still breathing
‘Cause I’m still breathing on my own
My head’s above the rain and roses
Making my way away
‘Cause I’m still breathing
‘Cause I’m still breathing on my own
My head’s above the rain and roses
Making my way, away, away…
‘Cause I’m still breathing
‘Cause I’m still breathing on my own
My head’s above the rain and roses
Making my way, away
My way to you

DBSA Albuquerque has a New Westside Support Group on Friday night

Great news for our West Albuquerque and Rio Rancho friends and families! DBSA Albuquerque is totally stoked to introduce our new Westside Support Group on Friday evenings!

DBSA Albuquerque Westside Support Group
Don Newton-Taylor Ranch Community Center
4900 Kachina St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120
Friday evenings, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM, doors open at 6:30 PM.

The Taylor Ranch Community Center is located at the intersection Kachina and Taylor Ranch/Golf Course. This is across Kachina from Mariposa Basin Park.

There is ample parking at the community center, with plenty of accessible parking and accessible facilities.

DBSA Albuquerque would like to thank the Jocelyn Rogers, Claudia Martinez, and the City of Albuquerque for providing our chapter with this wonderful venue for our Westside Support Group.

We hope to see you there!

DBSA Albuquerque Thursday Support Group is Moving to Our New Home!

Great news! DBSA Albuquerque Thursday support group is moving to our new home at the ROCK at NoonDay!

The ROCK is located near the intersection of 2nd and Menaul with easy Interstate 40 and frontage road access. The location is also more centrally located in the Greater Albuquerque Metropolitan Area with convenient City of Albuquerque public transportation close by.

Our support group will meet at the same day at time: Thursday, doors open at 6:30 PM, group from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.

There is ample parking onsite.

The ROCK at NoonDay
2400 Second Street
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Mental Health Response Advisory Committee (MHRAC) – June 21, 2016 Meeting Agenda

Please join us at the June 2016 MHRAC Public Meeting at the Rock at Noon Day. DBSA Albuquerque Co-President Steve Bringe sits on MHRAC as a peer representative.

Mental Health Response and Advisory Committee (MHRAC)
June 21, 2016
5:00-7:00 P.M.
2400 2nd Street NW (The Rock)

1. Welcome First Time Guests

2. Approval of May 2016 Minutes

3. Public Comment (two minutes per person, 15 minutes total)

4. Replacing MHRAC member Ken Gilman

5. Update from APD/CIU, Nils Rosenbaum

6. Reverse drug buy bust arrests, David Ley, Eric Garcia

7. Update and discussion of SOP 3-29, Co-chairs

8. Update and discussion on UNM and APD MOU

9. Open discussion and closing comments from Co-chairs

10. Next meeting, July 18,

“Laugh It Off” at Turquoise Lodge Hospital by comic Marion Crouse

Marion Crouse was very kind to give her reflections on the new “Laugh It Off” education program. This will be part of a much larger, wider spread article later this year (stay tuned!), and her article is so superb I wanted to get it out for others to read right now. Enjoy!

Marion Crouse
“Laugh It Off”
DBSA Albuquerque
May 31, 2016 Event

For the first “Laugh It Off” event, which had been scheduled for the last day in the Mental Health Month of May 2016, I was hoping to get a few laughs for my jokes. I knew that there would be questions after the three of us (Steve Bringe, Dennis Gray, and myself Marion Crouse) gave our stand-up comedy sets, and so I was also hoping that I would be able to answer a question or two intelligently. I had figured that we three would give a humorous reprieve from the day-to-day activities at Turquoise Lodge Hospital in Albuquerque, NM. I was glad and honored that I had been invited to be part of that experience.

So, I got a few laughs for my jokes about the juxtaposition of having Schizophrenia and being able to see ghosts. Steve and Dennis got some laughs for their jokes, too. I had a good time, and I got the sense that while I wasn’t cracking everybody up, they had a good time too nevertheless. And then, after our sets, we got some great questions from the audience, both inpatients and hospital staff. I left the building feeling like I had presented myself as someone who, along with having a handle on her own mental illness and not in spite of having Schizophrenia, is still able to use her mind.

Then, a couple of days later, Steve let me know that not only had everyone enjoyed our “Laugh It Off” event, but after we left that day, the effects of looking back on our own life events in a humorous light were such that the mood on the unit had lightened up too. The people who were getting help at Turquoise Lodge Hospital were more talkative with each other after we had left. That made me very happy, because I know that when folks communicate with one another, we are better able to find common ground and get along with one another. To be able to discuss our illnesses and other problems, and yes our good times too, is to have camaraderie with one another and to be at peace within ourselves. When I first got sick with Paranoid Schizophrenia in 1997, and especially when I first accepted that I have that illness in November of that year, I was in no mood to crack jokes about cracking up. I was totally confused about who to be, as if I had to be somebody new to myself because I had contracted a permanent illness that was new to myself. Well, my fingerprints are still the same, so I am still me.

Keeping quiet, not talking about stuff, makes Mental Illness seem like a dark secret. Comedy about Mental Illness, without self-deprecation, is a great way to open the floor to discussion and to help put an end to stigma. Having serious question/answer time after the comedy show is a well-rounded way for us folks with diagnoses to let everybody (peers or not) know that our minds are still good, we are still ourselves, and you can’t be scared of us if you are cracking up too.

NOTICE: Thursday Evening Support Group meeting at the CNM Main Campus Library

Hello, Albuquerque!

We received word from the City of Albuquerque that Heights Community Center is closed for staff training this week.

For June 9, we’ll be meeting at the CNM Main Library

This is due west of Heights Community Center. It is less than a minute’s walj and can be seen from the parking area on the south side of the community center.

DBSA members will be at the front entrance to Heights Community Center to help members to the library.

Park in Heights Community Center parking spots.

We’ll be meeting at Heights Community Center again on Thursday, June 16.

DBSA Albuquerque’s “Laugh It Off” Community Education Program – Our Chapter closes off Mental Health Month on a Laughable High Note

DBSA Albuquerque “Laugh It Off” stand up comics performed at the Turquoise Lodge Hospital in Albuquerque on May 31, which is the perfect way to close off May and Mental Health Month here in New Mexico. It’s also the perfect way to introduce DBSA Albuquerque’s “Laugh It Off” comedy education program to the Albuquerque communities.

Comics Marion Crouse, Dennis Gray, and Steve Bringe delivered moderately amusing jokes about their own life experiences, highlighting that even the most traumatic events in our recovery journeys can be pretty darned hilarious when told in the proper way.

The folks in the audience responded incredibly positively to our comics’ comedy sets, and what’s great is that the audience asked a ton of truly superb questions about many of the same topics we talk about in Monday and Thursday Support Groups, as well as talking to each other and learning that there are things common to our life experiences and that we’re not all alone in recovery and wellness. The importance of peer connection and power of peer support is integral to DBSA Albuquerque “Laugh It Off” comedy education program.

DBSA Albuquerque thanks Jackie West from Turquoise Lodge Hospital for the invitation, and we hope to continue offering our brand new “Laugh It Off” community education program at Turquoise Lodge.

Stay tuned… our comics are poised to tell their life story/jokes many places around Albuquerque throughout June. Join our DBSA Beacon newsletter for the latest scheduling for our comedy gig. This is an excellent way to learn more about mental health from peers who are excited to tell you about through the magic of humor.

We are recruiting new peer comics for “Laugh It Off”. If you would like more information about the “Laugh It Off” education program, how to get involved, and how you can bring our comics to your community, please contact Steve Bringe at:


Beyond Support Groups: 12th Annual Hubbell Navajo Rug Sale at Petroglyph National Monument

DBSA Albuquerque is meeting at the Petroglyph National Monument Visitor Center This Weekend!

We’ll be at the visitor center from 2 PM to 4 PM. Come Join Us!


12th Annual Hubbell Navajo Rug Sale

Date & Time
Multiple Days: 05/21/2016, 05/22/2016 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Fee Information
Free to attend
Contact Us

Hosted in partnership with Hubbell Trading Post in Arizona, Western National Parks Association and Petroglyph National Monument will present a show and sale of Navajo Rugs on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 from 10am to 4pm on both days. A Navajo weaving demonstration will be ongoing and informative talks on Navajo weaving will be presented at 11am and 2pm daily. Native American style music by Nimbus from 12 to 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 21.

This event will take place at Petroglyph’s visitor center located at Unser Blvd. & Western Trail NW. For more information call (505) 899-0205 ext. 347

Visitor Center | Map
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Fee Information:
Free to attend
Contact Name:
Ed Dunn
Contact Email:
Contact Phone Number:
505.899.0205 x347

Want to see pictures of your brain and be paid for it? MRN is recruiting people for a research study.

Our friends at the Mind Research Network are recruiting individuals for a research study.

I’ve done research projects in the past and they’re really a lot of fun.

Steve @ DBSA Albuquerque

Here are the details. There is a Printable Flyer available with the same information.

Volunteers wanted to participate
in brain scanning study (HRR# 13-637)

– Males and Females between the ages of 25 to 50 with no history of serious medical or emotional problems
– See pictures of your brain and receive $20 per hour. Multiple possible visits
– For more information contact

Andrew Mayer
Printable Flyer