Last month was Mental Health Awareness Month. In addition to raising awareness, it was a month of honors, awards and recognition for those who lead the way in breaking down barriers and increasing awareness and resources for those with mental illness.

On May 7 we held our annual gala. Each year at the gala, we present our Imagine
Award to a person who has bipolar disorder who sees beyond the illness and can imagine a future free of barriers, stigma, and discrimination. The recipient empowers others by sharing their story instilling hope and inspiration. 
This year we gave the Imagine Award to two very deserving recipients: Suzy Favor Hamilton and Paul Dalio. 

A few days after the gala, I was humbled to learn that we, International Bipolar Foundation, were chosen (out of 360 mental health organizations) as the Change Maker ORGANIZATION of the YEAR by Child Mind Institute. 

We thank everyone who played a part in helping raise awareness and educating the public.

But now it's June, and for some, that means the beginning of summer. If you have school age children, schedules will soon be quite different. Here is an article which I hope will help you manage some of the unstructured time.

Warm wishes for a wonderful start to the summer!

To your health,
Muffy Walker 

Claire Griffiths was our featured speaker at our gala this year. She is a remarkable 15 year old girl who lives with bipolar disorder and is not afraid to share her experience to help others. She also spoke at our World Bipolar Day press conference in March.  Read her inspiring speech from the gala about the importance of peer support. 

Thank you to those who attended our gala and a big thank you to our sponsors!

Sign Up For Our Next Webinar

Does the Media Romanticize Bipolar Disorder?
With Christine Anderson

Wednesday, June 15 at 9:00am Pacific Time
Sign up here (link includes time zone converter) 

Christine will discuss how bipolar disorder has been portrayed in recent films and other media. Watch this short teaser video for an introduction to what she will cover in the webinar.

The webinar will be recorded and posted here the following week.

See the rest of our upcoming webinars here
Watch Our Latest Recorded Webinar

Lucky 13: The Bipolar Coach
Lucky 13: The Bipolar Coach
Lucky 13: The Bipolar Coach
With Paul Carey

Diagnosed with bipolar as an adolescent, Paul experienced all the pain and suffering mental illness has to offer. After a decade of medications and mental hospitals with no success, Paul underwent electroconvulsive therapy starting at the age of 22. Before his 30th birthday he had received nearly 50 sessions of shock treatment. 
At 31, Paul stumbled upon a program called the Lucky 13 which is a program designed to help people with severe health challenges complete a half marathon. He worked up enough courage to apply for the program. He was accepted and his life changed forever. 
Paul quickly realized his training had little to do with running a race and everything to do with taking control of his mental illness. He felt so empowered by his physical and emotional transition that he went back to school, became a personal trainer and a coach for the Lucky 13 Program. Paul now runs the Lucky 13 Program and lives for the opportunity to help those who have suffered most transition into a life of joy. 

See the rest of our recorded webinars here.
Featured Blogs

by Zoe DeCicco

by Liz Wilson

by Sally Buchanan-Hagen

Read more hopeful and informative articles  here.
Watch Our Latest YouTube Video

What is a Hypomanic Episode?
What is a Hypomanic Episode?

Carrie explains the symptoms of a hypomanic episode and the differences between hypomanic and manic episodes. 

Carrie is a counselor who also lives with bipolar disorder herself. She is covering the symptoms of bipolar disorder for her Speaking of Symptoms video series, and also writes about stress management and other topics for our blog

See more educational videos on our YouTube Channel.

Each month, a different expert from our Scientific Advisory Board will answer your questions about bipolar disorder research and treatment. 

This month's expert:  Michael Berk, PhD

Question:  What new treatments are available or being developed for bipolar disorder? 

Answer: New treatments can be divided into lifestyle, psychological and biological. The first studies aiming to modify lifestyle variables such as diet and smoking cessation are being done and they hopefully will contribute to wellness. 

In terms of psychological therapies, much attention is being directed to adaptation of psychological modalities to the Internet. These include mobile apps, electronic self-monitoring and psychosocial interventions for individuals such as and for caregivers such as Many studies are being done adapting the third-wave CBT modalities such as Mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to people with bipolar disorder. 

On the medication front, newer versions of existing therapies, such as anti-convulsants and new anti-psychotics are being developed. Studies are being done to clarify the role of antidepressants in the disorder. Interestingly, a number of recent studies have been published suggesting Lithium remains the most effective agent for the disorder. 

A number of more experimental novel strategies are being studied, which vary from aspirin, ketamine, N-Acetylcysteine, minocycline and mitochrondrial augmentation therapies. While these are promising, it is too early for these to be first-line options.

About Dr. Berk:  Professor Michael Berk's research interests are  in the discovery and implementation of novel therapies, and risk factors and prevention of psychiatric disorders.  He is currently a NHMRC Senior Principal research Fellow, and is Alfred Deakin Chair of Psychiatry at Deakin University and Barwon Health, where he heads the IMPACT Strategic Research Centre.  Read his full biography here

For more answers from our experts, visit our Sharecare page.
Research Updates

Learn more about the latest studies in bipolar research here.
Comic Book Superhero Helps Fight Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness

"A psychiatrist and comic book author has flipped the script on stigma-laden stereotypes that have been all too common in the media as he creates a superhero with bipolar disorder.

As Brooklyn-based fashion designer Alexis Pope commutes to an appointment with her psychiatrist, signs of the stigma associated with mental illness surround her: a marquis advertises the latest horror movie about a "homicidal maniac"; newspaper headlines proclaim a mass shooter to be mentally ill; a seat on a crowded subway remains empty next to a homeless passenger who responds to voices no one else can hear..." Continue reading here.

The comic AURA can be read for free here. And the entire issue  of RISE: COMICS AGAINST BULLYING #2 (in which AURA appears) can be purchased in print and digital here.
About International Bipolar Foundation

International Bipolar Foundation is a not for profit organization based in San Diego whose mission  is to improve understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder through research; to promote care and support resources for individuals and caregivers; and to erase stigma through education. 

International Bipolar Foundation is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or received from the International Bipolar Foundation.

Visit us online for more information:

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