Daily Point of Light # 2045 Dec 5, 2001

The Depressive and Manic Depressive Association (DMDA) of Toledo is a chapter of the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association. Their mission is to educate clients, families, professionals and the public concerning the nature of depressive and manic depressive illnesses as treatable medical diseases. They also wish to eliminate discrimination and stigma, improve access to care, and advocate for research toward the elimination of these illnesses. They do not endorse or recommend the use of any specific treatment or medication. For advice about specific treatment or medication, clients are advised to consult their physician or mental health professional.

The DMDA of Toledo began in May of 1999 with one support group and four members. Today, they have grown to five support groups, and they also sponsor community education and outreach programs. The support groups average 15 to 20 people per meeting. DMDA of Toledo has developed specialized support groups for family members, women’s issues, survivors of suicide, hospital outreach and community support. They receive no public funding and rely solely on private donations. All of the staff is volunteers.

One of their programs is Generation Y. This is an anti-stigma, youth sensitivity and mental health awareness program. Generation Y teaches children to be sensitive towards others who have mental illness, behavioral problems, or are different from them in a number of ways. It is also designed to bring awareness to children, their families, and the community. This program, just as all the other programs of DMDA of Toledo, have a speaker’s bureau, a series of plays and skits, workshops and classes for both adults and children, and education material. The participants present these four components. The children present speeches on how they feel about mental illness, ADHD, racism, and other issues of tolerance. Children also present short, 5-10 minute skits or plays in which they act out their issues or concerns. The workshops are always age appropriate as well as the material.

The Toledo chapter works hard to meet the needs of those who suffer with manic depression or clinical depression. Though they do not have multi-level funding sources, they have not given up. This chapter knows there is a need for these services in the community and will continue to fight to survive. They recently obtained donated office space and are able to continue to reach more people needing their services. Weekly, they receive more than 40 calls for information or linkage to other support services in the community.