Each year our community grows and we feel the boost as we continue to educate, empower, and erase stigma. Thank you for demonstrating support in a multitude of ways throughout May, Mental Health Awareness Month; your impact was substantial!

As we strive to thrive, make this a time of connecting with others. Studies show that social connection improves our physical and psychological well being, up to 50%! Not to fret if you are shy or prefer to be alone, your connection can come from within. Read more in the article here to learn how.

Warm wishes,
Susan Berger
Mental Health Awareness Month Blog/ Vlog Contest Winners!
Winning vlog:  "How I Eliminated Self-Stigma", starring Amy Gamble!

Winning blog:  The Torn Open Book With Sparkly Pages by Eliza Dimapilis

Sign Up For Our Next Live Webinar!

Sign Up For Our Upcoming Live Webinar!
Marriage and Bipolar Disorder
 What One Couple Has Learned by Staying Together
7:30 to 8:30 am PT on July 19th 
How does a marriage survive when one spouse experiences a mental health crisis? In this webinar, Mark and Giulia will be sharing some of the strategies they've learned for how to make their marriage thrive in the context of her bipolar diagnosis.
Watch our Latest Webinar Recording!
A Memoir Of Food, Love, And Manic Depression

In this webinar, David discusses his life long love affair with food, his struggles with bipolar disorder, and his latest book Notes on a Banana. Meet David at our San Diego event on September 28th, details here!
Watch the latest in our Psych Byte Series!
Psych Byte: MEN & MENtal Health

In honor of Men's Health Month this month, Dennis Gillan is issuing a call to action to MEN to get comfortable talking about and seeking treatment for MENtal Health conditions. Share this clip with your communities to help bring awareness to the issue of men's mental health!
To be the first to access webinar recordings, follow us on social media!
Featured Blogs

by Kelly C. Kirby, MS, LPCC

Journey To Recovery
by Thomas R. Grinley
Ask the Expert
Your questions answered by the scientific community

This month's expert: 
Dr. Stephen Hinshaw
Question: What is stigma, and what effect does it have on people with bipolar disorder and their families?
Answer: Stigma is the psychological shunning and even shaming of members of "outgroups" not favored by mainstream society.   Despite great progress in understanding and treating many forms of mental illness, stigma remains strong in this area, at the levels of policy (e.g., lack of parity for mental health coverage), media coverage (which still features images of violence and incompetence), and low levels of social contact (driven by fear and stereotypes).  The potential unpredictability of manic and depressive cycles may fuel stigma against bipolar disorder per se.  Of particular concern is the tendency for members of stigmatized groups to internalize society's messages and biases, fueling self-stigma--a key predictor, in mental health, of failing to engage in needed treatments.  Even more, family members must often battle associated stigma (formerly called "courtesy stigma") in their efforts to support their affected relatives.   
Signs of progress are apparent: Think of self-help and advocacy groups, more accurate and humanized media coverage, and spreading knowledge of the real benefits of evidence-based treatments for improving the lives of countless individuals experiencing bipolar disorder.  In the end, it will take far better access to proven treatments, along with greater empathy and support on the part of the general public, to turn the tide. 

Want to hear more from Dr. Hinshaw? Register for his webinar this fall on stigma  here
For more answers from our experts, visit our Sharecare page.
Mental Health Books

There's a difference between learning to be alone, and feeling isolated and unlovable. Human contact can help with the isolation that bipolar depression can create.
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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.

Visit us online for more information: www.ibpf.org