Wilmington, Del. — Top finalists have been announced for the 2010 "SPEAK and Be Heard … Living with Depression" campaign. Now in its second year, the campaign 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.
Organized by pharmaceutical provider AstraZeneca in partnership with the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), a national organization focusing on depression and bipolar disorder, the contest was expanded in 2010 to accept submissions in various categories including essay, poetry, song, video, and art.
“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.”
Participating as judges this year were: Dr. Janet Taylor, Allen Doederlein, executive director of external affairs for DBSA, and one of last year’s contest finalists, Amanda Smith. 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 Doederlein. “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.”