My name is Jeff Kleitsch and I'm new here at International Bipolar Foundation. I'm excited to join such a warm and gracious group of employees, volunteers, and members of the IBPF community! Thank you for demonstrating such inspirational support and I look forward to meeting many of you at our 10th Anniversary Event, Starry Night: The Fusion of Creativity and Culinary Genius. This event will give us all an opportunity to exchange stories of struggle, success, and perseverance while raising critical funds for our ever growing educational programs!
Because we have constant access to our friends and families via the internet; connect with us on our social media platforms to share lived experiences and medical facts about bipolar disorder. This month take the time to educate a friend or family member on the things you know to be true on bipolar disorder and lets raise awareness and fight the stigma together!
Best wishes,
Assistant Controller
Join us for our 10th Anniversary Celebration Next Month!
Register for our Upcoming Webinars!
Watch Our Latest Video Recordings!
Words To Say And Things To Do
Tips for the Families of Those Who Have Bipolar Disorder
Lecture Recording: Educational Implications Facing 
Children With Bipolar
Presented by Rienzi Haytasingh,  Psy. D., ABSNP
Navigating the educational system for the proper supports and services can be impossible at times. Children with Bipolar Disorder struggle, mostly because their disability is a "hidden" one. Many times children with Bipolar Disorder require a complexity of services that are not easily understood or provided. Dr. Haytasingh provides valuable knowledge from over 22 years working with children in school who have Bipolar Disorder. 
Psych Byte: My Happy Sad Mummy

Michelle Vasiliu, author of My Happy Sad Mummyshares why she wrote the book, why it's important to talk to children about mental health and her personal journey as a parent with bipolar disorder.

You can order your copy of  My Happy Sad Mummy  HERE.

For more on parenting with mental illness, check out the first blog in Michelle's parenting series HERE.
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Featured Vlog
by IBPF Vlogger, Megan Malfi

Check out Megan's lastest vlog!

Featured Blogs
Hiding In Plain Sight
By Aubrey Good, IBPF Editorial Intern

by Serena Goldsmith

Ask the Expert
Your questions answered by the scientific community

This month's expert: 
Dr. Rienzi Haytasingh
Question: What do parents need to know about educating children with bipolar disorder?
Today students with mood disorders make up a particularly difficult group to educate in public schools. Their disabilities are mostly hidden from those around them. Often teachers don't understand the nature of behavioral and emotional differences observed in these students. The medication that students with mood disorders often take have side effects that effect their ability to learn and keep up in school. There are however, some easy steps to ensuring that your student gets the most out of school and life.
Children with mood disorders are eligible for legal accommodations and in some cases services through special education. In either case your child needs to be diagnosed and/or evaluated for such services. The documentation that accompanies your student into school is of great value. First, it serves to protect your student from discrimination based his or her disability. Second, it provides educators with specific accommodations and/or services for helping ensure your child learns. Special Education has been around since 1975. Over forty years old and still special education has many holes. As a parent, you can maximize your child's educational opportunities by participating in the IEP process. Looking over the present levels section of the IEP to ensure that everything written there is a true reflection of what you child can do. From this goals are developed and services are provided. If the present levels are not correct, properly educating your child will be difficult. Additionally, there are behavior supports that may need to be included in your child's educational program.
A functional behavior assessment can be conducted to investigate the nature of any types of behavior problems your child is demonstrating. This part of the IEP is especially important for students with mood disorders. As mentioned above, many times children with bipolar disorder demonstrate severe behaviors that can impair their ability to learn. Understanding and being able to predict when problems will occur is part of the outcome of a functional behavior assessment. The result of this assessment is used to further develop the IEP and ensure your child and those responsible for teaching your child are successful in their efforts.
In summary, there are numerous books written on specific topics related to educating children with bipolar disorder. Most schools have the proper supports for children. Your unique knowledge of your child is priceless. While most schools have wonderful professionals with knowledge on how to support your child, your participation is still important. Don't be afraid to ask the tough questions. Don't assume anything. Work together and hold everyone accountable for their work. 

Want to hear more on this topic? Check out my lecture video recording with IBPF here and
For more answers from our experts, visit our Sharecare page.
Mental Health Books


My Happy Sad Mummy 
by Michelle Vasiliu

Bipolar Disorder: My Biggest Competitor
by   Amy Gamble

Find more mental health books  here.
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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 International Bipolar Foundation.

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