WILMINGTON, Del., Jan. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The top finalists have been announced today as part of the 2010 SPEAK and Be Heard... Living with Depression campaign. Currently in its second year, this campaign, made possible by AstraZeneca in partnership with the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), encourages individuals who are successfully managing the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder, bipolar depression, or major depressive disorder also known as depression, to serve as role models and inspiration for others by sharing their personal stories.
This year, the SPEAK and Be Heard… Living with Depression contest was expanded to accept submissions in various categories including essay, poetry, song, video, and art. This year's finalists were selected in the following categories:
Linea J. Seattle, WA, "Finding Dry Land"
Lisa W., Bradenton, FL, "Teacher Talk"
April T., Albany, GA, "Salvaged"
Vicki M. Lawrenceville, GA, "Recovery from the Pit"
Kim C. Steubenville, OH, "Hope"
Sara T. Marinette, WI, "The Walking Wounded"
Julie J. Orange, CA, "The Flip Side"
Jennifer G. Federal Way, WA, "Stitches"
Michael K. Palm Desert, CA, "Artshines"
Jennifer S. Mahopac, NY, "A Bipolar Memoir"
Marci M. Asheville, NC, "On The Road to Wellness"
"Often, individuals seeking help for the unresolved symptoms of depression turn to someone who's 'been there' before to learn how to successfully manage their illness," said Janet Taylor, MD, a psychiatrist in private practice and SPEAK judge. "This campaign helps individuals with bipolar depression or depression by recognizing people who are currently successfully managing their depressive symptoms. If you are being treated for depression and are still experiencing unresolved symptoms, please talk to your doctor."
For the SPEAK campaign this year, Dr Janet Taylor, Allen Doederlein, Executive Director of External Affairs for DBSA, and one of last year's contest finalists, Amanda Smith, participated as judges. Additionally, a distinguished group of guest judges were selected from various patient, advocacy, health care, literary, film, and art communities to evaluate the submissions.
Finalists will be featured on DBSA's wellness community Web site, www.FacingUs.org, on the AstraZeneca Facebook page, various social media outlets, and on the Web site for bp Magazine, which empowers and motivates the community of individuals living with bipolar disorder, or Esperanza, which is a magazine designed for the mental health community.
"The selected finalists in this year's SPEAK and Be Heard... Living with Depression campaign exemplify the journey one faces toward success," said Allen Doederlein, DBSA Executive Director for External Affairs. "Today, they are inspiring others and serving as role models by sharing the struggles they experienced and showing the importance of seeking help and developing an appropriate treatment plan with a health care provider."
To learn more about the success stories submitted through the SPEAK and Be Heard... Living with Depression campaign, visit www.Facebook.com/TakeOnDepression. Additionally, those diagnosed with depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder or depression and their families can follow the campaign on Twitter by visiting @FaceDepression to receive the latest news about SPEAK and Be Heard... Living with Depression as well as educational information about successfully managing their symptoms.
About the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the leading patient-directed, national organization focusing on depression and bipolar disorder. The organization fosters an environment of understanding about the impact and management of these life-threatening illnesses by providing up-to-date, scientifically-based tools and information. DBSA supports research to promote more timely diagnosis, develop more effective and tolerable treatments, and discover a cure. The organization works to ensure that people living with mood disorders are treated equitably.
Assisted by a scientific advisory board composed of the leading researchers and clinicians in the field of mood disorders, DBSA has more than 1,000 peer-run support groups across the country. Nearly five million people request and receive information and assistance each year. DBSA's mission is to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders. For more information, please visit www.DBSAlliance.org or call (800) 826-3632.
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines. As a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease medicines, AstraZeneca generated global revenues of $32.8 billion in 2009. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $14.8 billion health care business.