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National Music Competition Now Open
for Those Living with Depression or Bipolar Disorder
Facing Us Music Contest Now Accepting Submissions

The Facing Us 2008 Music Contest is open to amateur and professional musicians. The competition, part of a larger effort to raise awareness of depression and bipolar disorder, will celebrate the ways in which people use creative expression not only to cope, but thrive, while living with these illnesses.

Audio clip submissions will be accepted from July 4 through September 1, 2008. Songs must be original work, written and performed by the artist or artists. Though songs do not have to be about depression, bipolar disorder or mental illness, entrants must self-identify as having, or having had, a personal experience with depression or bipolar disorder. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three songs selected by the general public through an online voting process.

For online voting, DBSA will select 12 songs based on general appeal, lyrics, melody and musician craftsmanship. Votes can be cast online at from September 8 through October 1, 2008. First, second and third place winners, as selected by the general public, will be announced in October. Short-listed entries will be available for download on and will be included on a compilation CD produced by DBSA.

“Many people living with depression or bipolar disorder use music as a positive creative outlet,” says DBSA President Sue Bergeson. “Music can heal the soul and soothe the spirit. It is a powerful recovery tool for those coping with mood disorders. We are delighted to work with Dave’s Spark to encourage musicians to share their creative talents by participating in this competition.”

In addition to the contest, DBSA and Dave’s Spark have collaborated on the development of a new online resource for those living with depression or bipolar disorder: the Dave’s Spark Creativity Center on the Facing Us website, The Creativity Center, which launches in October, will feature creative avenues for coping with depression or bipolar disorder. The center will host an online course and podcasts featuring musicians and artists who explore how individuals can incorporate creativity into their lives as a wellness tool.

In December 2007, DBSA launched, a unique and innovative website for those living with depression or bipolar disorder. The interactive site allows those living with mood disorders to create their own personal wellness tools to aid them on their road to recovery. Users can create customized personal journals, a wellness plan and wellness books that can be printed with artistic covers, as well as find inspiration and encouragement from an extensive library of personal video stories and informative audio/videocasts. is designed to be a “clubhouse,” an online community and safe haven for those seeking wellness.

Dave’s Spark honors the memory of David Kaplan, a musician, mentor, father of three and Chicago business entrepreneur who lived with bipolar disorder. The fund was established to provide support for families and individuals also confronted with this illness.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the nation’s leading patient-directed organization focusing on depression and bipolar disorder. The organization, which has more than 1,000 support groups nationwide, fosters an understanding about the impact and management of these life-threatening illnesses by providing up-to-date, scientifically based tools and information. Assisted by a 65-member scientific advisory board comprised of the leading researchers and clinicians in the field of mood disorders, DBSA supports research to promote more timely diagnosis, develop more effective and tolerable treatments and discover a cure. Nearly 5 million people receive information and assistance each year.

For contest details, visit To find out more about the Facing Us Clubhouse, visit To learn more about DBSA, visit or call toll-free (800)826-3632.

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