October is a special month. Not only is it the month I was born, but more importantly has a variety of mental health "awareness" days:
At International Bipolar Foundation, we are hosting a variety of activities to  help celebrate, spread awareness and continue the conversation about mental illness and wellness. CHANGE is in the air and a s the leaves change, we are preparing for our annual Say it Forward campaign to help CHANGE the discussion about mental illness. You can read more about it below and participate along with the other 4 million who helped us last year with this important conversation.

For Depression Screening Day, you can find locations in the US and Canada here or take an anonymous online screening here. We will also be volunteering at our office offering free depression screenings on Thursday, October 13th from 8:30-11:00am as part of Check Your Mood Screening Week in San Diego County. For more information about taking a screening in our office on the 13th, contact dbrown@ibpf.org 

On October 17, we are excited to host Honorary Board member Pete Earley at our annual education and friend raiser luncheon. See below for more information and for tickets.

Last, but certainly not least, we are proud to share with you our new  Help & Hope brochure

We invite you to get involved and continue to change the conversation in a positive direction.

To your health,
Muffy Walker 
October 2-8

Our annual social media campaign, Say It Forward, starts tomorrow during Mental Illness Awareness Week. 

Help Us #SayItForward throughout the  week by sharing our images on social media, sending an email to your friends and family, or sharing your advice to your younger self using the hashtag #DearTeenageMe.

Sign Up to Watch our Upcoming Live Webinar

With Andrew Penn, RN, MS, NP, APRN-BC

Wednesday, September 26 at 9am Pacific Time
Register here  (time zone converter at link)

Cannabis use is increasingly acceptable in American society. Cannabis is frequently seen as having medicinal properties and many states permit the use of medical cannabis. What does this mean for bipolar patients? 
Could cannabis be used therapeutically for mood stabilization, anxiety reduction, and the promotion of sleep? What do we know about the potential risks and benefits of cannabis for those with bipolar disorder? 
In this presentation, Andrew Penn, a psychiatric nurse practitioner who has presented nationally on this subject, will explore the controversy. He will explain how cannabis works in the brain, what we know about the risks of exacerbating mental illness, how to reduce these risks, and what we still need to learn before we know if cannabis can be therapeutic for bipolar patients. 

Andrew Penn, RN, MS, NP, APRN-BC, was trained as an adult nurse practitioner and psychiatric clinical nurse specialist at the University of California, San Francisco. He is board certified as an adult nurse practitioner and psychiatric nurse practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. He has interest in promoting psychiatric wellness through exercise, meditation, and meaningful social relationships. He is also interested in emerging novel treatments for psychiatric disorders including MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and the use of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for depression. He has presented nationally on improving medication adherence, the risks and therapeutic potential of cannabinoids, treatment-resistant depression, and the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. 

International Bipolar Foundation is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We do not recommend any specific treatment, drug, food or supplement. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional advice because of something you have read from IBPF.

This webinar will be recorded and posted here the following week. 
See the rest of our upcoming webinars here
Watch Our Latest Recorded Webinar

Susan Sofayov shares her journey of her bipolar diagnosis at the age of 46. Listen as she speaks candidly of how this saved her marriage and enabled her to achieve her dream of writing her book Defective which has offered hope and insight to many readers. 

Tell us what you think! After you've watched the webinar, please take our  follow-up survey.
See the rest of our recorded webinars here.
Featured Blogs
Watch Our Latest YouTube Video

What is Cyclothymic Disorder?
With Carrie Elizabeth Lin

Individuals with cyclothymic disorder have symptoms of depression and hypomania but have never experienced a full mood episode.
Although there are no mood episodes, it involves a longstanding pattern of mood instability or what's sometime called "stable instability" as Carrie explains in this video. 

Watch all of the videos in this series here. 
What is rTMS?

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

This month's expert:  Robert M. Post, M.D.

Question: What is repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and how can it help those with bipolar disorder? 

Answer: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is used over the left prefrontal cortex for the treatment of depression.  It produces rapidly fluctuating magnetic fields can transit across the scalp and skull to generate electrical impulses in brain that fire neurons.  Depression is often associated with deficient neural activity in the prefrontal cortex and rTMS can enhance this and improve depression.  Sessions usually last about 20 minutes and are done 3 times a week for 3 to 4 weeks.  rTMS is FDA approved for treatment of unipolar depression, but it clearly also works in those with bipolar depression. It is unlike ECT in that it does not require anesthesia or the induction of a seizure; the patient remains awake and there are no cognitive difficulties.  Clinicians who actively and positively talk to the patient during the time of the stimulation may get better results than those who do not interact with the patient, but this has not been systematically proven.

About Dr. Post:  Dr. Post graduated from Yale University in 1964, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1968, and interned at the Einstein School of Medicine in 1969. His Psychiatry residency was completed at the Massachusetts General Hospital, NIMH, and George Washington University. He was Chief, Biological Psychiatry Branch for many of his 36 years at the NIMH where his research focused on better understanding and treating patients with refractory unipolar and bipolar illness.  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.
Mental Health Books
San Diego Luncheon
with author Pete Earley

Join us for a riveting discussion with author Pete Earley on Monday, October 17 at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla, San Diego. 

Tickets can be purchased with a credit card  online or by calling our office at 858-598-5967. You can also mail a check to our office at: 8755 Aero Drive, Suite 310, San Diego, CA 92123. 

View the  RSVP card  for pricing and sponsorship information. To complete your registration, please submit your  RSVP Card so we can add you to our attendance list. You can mail this to our office or email to Melissa Leigh at  mleigh@ibpf.org

Pete Earley is best known for his nonfiction book,  Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness, which was one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize. 
His book chronicles his struggle to help his adult son after her develops a severe mental illness and is arrested. His son's arrest prompted Earley to spend nine months inside the Miami Dade County Jail where he followed person with mental disorders through the criminal justice system to see what happened to them. His book has won awards from the American Psychiatric Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America, and prompted CNN to name him one of the nation's top "Mental Wellness Warriors." 

Take our Behavioral Health Quality of Life Questionnaire to learn about healthy lifestyle choices to help you manage your physical and mental health.
You can also sign up for our upcoming Peer Support Specialist program to receive personalized support from a trained peer specialist. 
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

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