Month: April 2016

DBSA Albuquerque Book Club Starts This Week

Hey Fellow DBSA members!

Do you love to read? Are you interested in Sci-fi? Mystery? Murder? Fantasy?

Join DBSA Book Club!

Book Club meetings are the last Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm.

Meetings will be held at Rasma Cox’s home:

1402 Columbia Dr. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Please come if you are able.

Find us on Craigslist Albuquerque!

Because this is making our co-president Rasma laugh so much:

Find us on Craigslist!

The hilarity I believe stems from Craigslist ads stating:

Find us on!

Yes, at DBSA Albuquerque, humor is embraced whole-heartedly as an important bonus of our peer support groups.

To your good mental health!

DBSA Albuquerque Casting Call!!! (of a sort) Group Photograph this Thursday, April 21, 2016, 6:30 PM

Hello to the community!

As part of the relaunching of the DBSA Albuquerque website, we are looking for interested peers to pose for a few group pictures at our Thursday meeting venue, Heights Community Center.

We’d like to take photos in various parts of the community center, and definitely a group photo on the front entrance under the Heights Community Center sign.

Our doors now open at 6 PM rather than 6:30 PM, so if you’d like to come earlier we can get some photos prior to group starting at 7 PM.

If you do arrive early, you aren’t required to participate in the group photo. As always, confidentiality is essential to DBSA Albuquerque support groups, so only those who would like to be included on the chapter website will be photographed.

We hope to see you there!

DBSA Albuquerque Resources Page – Let Us Know You’re Out There!

Howdy, Greater Albuquerque Metropolitan Area and New Mexico Communities!

We’re currently completely overhauling our chapter website, and a big part of the upgrade is getting our Resources page current and extensive.

So, if you have a website you believe would benefit the community, send it along for inclusion on the DBSA Albuquerque website. There is a review process with the DBSA Albuquerque board, and we accept pretty much all submissions we receive.

Also, if you feel like linking to DBSA Albuquerque, that would be way excellent. Here is our contact info:

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Albuquerque Chapter
DBSA Albuquerque
505 288 1322

Monday peer support group
The Coffee Shop
700 2nd St. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
From 2 PM to 4 PM

Thursday peer support group
Heights Community Center
823 Buena Vista Dr. SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
From 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
DBSA Albuquerque Book Club meets from 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM

DBSA Albuquerque launches Albuquerque’s first peer-led Book Club

Good news for bibliophiles! DBSA Albuquerque is holding a monthly book club meeting the last Tuesday of every month, the first peer-led book club of this type and scope offered in the Greater Albuquerque Metropolitan Area.

Members can be peers, families and friends, and other individuals who find helpful camaraderie in entertainment that fosters understanding and compassion. The DBSA Albuquerque Book Club is free of charge for all members.

The first DBSA Albuquerque Book Club meeting is on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, from 7 PM to 9 PM.

The first book for members is “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert A. Heinlein.

Contact Rasma Cox, DBSA Albuquerque Book Club committee chair, for more information.

Rasma Cox

Congratulations to the Albuquerque Police Department, NAMI Albuquerque Board Member Robert Salazar, and DBSA Albuquerque Chapter Co-Presidents Rasma Cox and Steve Bringe

The Albuquerque Behavioral Health Community scored a big win for our city the last two weeks.

On Friday, April 4, the training manual for the “Perspectives in Psychosis and Mania” and “Crisis Deescalation” developed in collaboration by APD Detective Matthew Tinney, APD Psychiatrist Nils Rosenbaum, Robert Salazar (Peer Advocate/NAMI Albuquerque board member), Rasma Cox (Peer Advocate/DBSA Albuquerque Chapter Co-President), and Steve Bringe (Peer Advocate/DBSA Albuquerque Chapter Co-President) was put into action at the Albuquerque Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team training.

This training manual, which has been submitted to the Department of Justice in accordance with the APD settlement agreement (and includes a byline credit for DBSA Albuquerque Chapter’s role in developing the manual), brings peers and law enforcement together to prepare better Albuquerque police officers for safe and positive encounters for all involved in a mental health crisis situation.

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is 40 hours of APD training that focuses on education, insight, understanding, and successful outcomes for interactions between police officers and individuals contending with mental health issues.

The final two hours of the 40 hours are dedicated to “Perspectives in Psychosis and Mania” and “Crisis Deescalation.” Through our lived experience, we share anecdotes and stories of what it’s like to have mental health symptoms that lead to encounters with law enforcement. The goal is to help law enforcement understand that they only see in crisis situations, that we are not our illness, and successful and sustainable recovery is possible. As many officers portray their impressions of our stories, “You peers helped put a human face on mental illness.”

With the “Crisis Deescalation” presentation, we share with officers specific instances where our crisis situation led to law enforcement becoming involved. The goal for this presentation is through our lived experience and stories we can convey to police officers what works well in crisis situations, what must be avoided, and what could use improvement. Police officers comment that this sort of practical information they could get in no other way than our willingness to share openly what it is like to live with the symptoms of a mental illness.

Our collaboration with APD has extended beyond the CIT classroom. And abbreviated format of “Perspectives” and “Deescalation” was tried out with Project ECHO. ECHO is in response to the geographic factors of getting psychiatric services to the remote populations of New Mexico. Providers, case workers, peer support organizations, etc., cannot fulfill the needs of peers in remote communities, primarily because of the time it takes to travel from large population areas like Albuquerque to small, isolated communities like Reserve in Catron County (it is estimated that the elk population of Catron County outnumbers the human population of Catron County).

ECHO utilizes a audio/video network of live cameras, display screens, local coordinators, and a secure communication system to bring necessary services to peers in these remote communities. The connection is made between provider and peer via ECHO.

Detective Tinney and Doctor Rosenbaum came up with the ingenious idea of using ECHO to train law enforcement in these remote communities. They have been beta-testing ECHO CIT training and two Fridays ago Rasma Cox and Steve Bringe were invited to present “Perspectives” and “Deescalation” to law enforcement in Rio Arriba County, San Juan County (Farmington), Dona Ana County (Las Cruces), and two other law enforcement agencies. Many excellent questions were asked to Rasma and Steve, and based on the success of this first ECHO peer presentation, DBSA Albuquerque has a continued invitation to participate in ECHO CIT training from Albuquerque.

There is much more to share about DBSA Albuquerque Chapter’s excellent collaboration with the Albuquerque Police Department and other lawn enforcement agencies around the State of New Mexico. As a final teaser about a quickly developing ECHO project spearheaded by DBSA Albuquerque Chapter, we are addressing the specific logistics of using ECHO for an extended DBSA Albuquerque Chapter support group bringing remote communities together with large population centers to have an ECHO peer support group.

DBSA Albuquerque Chapter continues to build on our success of public outreach and education. More soon!

Welcome to the new and improved DBSA Albuquerque website!

After an extended hiatus, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Albuquerque Chapter website is back on the interweb! Welcome back to the DBSA Albuquerque website for the Greater Albuquerque Metropolitan Area and the State of New Mexico.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is an international non-profit mental health organization dedicated to providing peer support groups for those living with mood disorders and related behavioral health issues.

Family members and friends are welcome to join our support groups.

Our weekly support groups for the Greater Albuquerque Metropolitan Area:

Every Monday from 2 pm to 4 pm.
700 2nd Street NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
On the southeast corner of then Lomas & 2nd Street intersection.
“Downtown @ 700” and “The Coffee Shop.”

Every Thursday from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Heights Community Center
823 Buena Vista SE 
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Just south of the Buena Vista & Coal intersection
Doors open at 6:30 for members to socialize before group
Support group starts at 7:00 pm.

Best of mental health to you and we look forward to seeing you at DBSA Albuquerque’s weekly support groups!

For additional information:
DBSA Albuquerque

Remember, you are not alone, you don’t have to go it alone.
We’ve been there. We can help.

STAND UP TO STIGMA: Mental Health Support Groups & Community Education