International Bipolar Foundation
From the International Bipolar Foundation, click to visit our website



Greetings all!

I hope that you all survived the holidays.

Thank you to all who helped CABF win the $250,000 Pepsi grant. Now it's out turn. Sign up to get reminders so we can win $5000 to print & distribute our resource manual all about bipolar disorder. Those who sign up for reminders, will be entered in a contest to win a new iPad (see below).

Warm wishes for a wonderful new year filled bright with promises.

Muffy Walker

P.S. Please contact me at anytime:

January 2, 2011
If you are in a crisis,
please call:

1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Join Our Mailing List
Bipolar Links

Help International Bipolar Foundation Win $5,000 From Pepsi
IBPF is competing for a $5,000 grant from The Pepsi Refresh Project during the month of January. The winners will be decided by popular vote. IBPF needs your three votes every day during the month of January.
Less than a minute of your day can help us further educate society about Bipolar Disorder.
IBPF will use the grant to print and distribute a book on "Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder" pepsi
Sign up for voting reminders by sending an e-mail to and for a chance to WIN AN iPAD!

NEXT TO NORMAL coming to San Diego January 18-23, 2011

IBPF is pleased to offer 1/2 price tickets for all seats on Thursday, January 20. Stay after the show for a chat back with the cast.

To purchase tickets:
Go to
Click on the International Bipolar Foundation logo
Select date of choice & enter password IBF2010 (you must choose 1/20/11 to get discounted tickets)
Create or log into your account
Select your Seats, Purchase & Print tickets.

From the Director of RENT, comes NEXT TO NORMAL, an emotional powerhouse of a musical with a thrilling contemporary score about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other.
Winner of 3 Tony Awards, including Best Score, NEXT TO NORMAL, was chosen as one of the year's 10 best plays. This is a MUST SEE!

next to normal

Looking for a fun and exciting way to make a difference for someone with bipolar disorder?  Are you competitive?  Do you like to watch your friends and family do ridiculous and silly things on stage?  Do you yourself??? Then get ready for:

 A fun and interactive trivia game show where YOU are the entertainment!
 In teams (tables) of ten, you and your friends will compete for a spot on stage by answering trivia questions.     It is all in good fun and educational, too - expect to learn about what your loved one or coworker deals with when they have a mental illness.  Of course, there will be great food and drink!   It's all for a great cause - help us raise money and awareness so that we can continue our work to reduce stigma and promote research. 
Friday, February 25, 2011
Hilton Torrey Pines
em for more information or
to purchase tickets $200 each.
Don't miss out on this fun, fast-paced game show starring YOU!

Dear Friend & Advocate

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, you'll find answers to special ed questions, information on high-interest topics in IDEA 2004, and links to additional resources.

For your information (and convenience), watch for more Quick Picks on different hot topics in future issues.

bpmag logo
Rethink your New Year's resolutions

There's something about turning the calendar to a new year that gets us thinking about fresh starts-hence the traditional New Year's resolutions. Our columnist Stephen Propst has a different spin: New Year's "resignations."

His idea is that healthy change starts with accepting some realities about living with bipolar disorder, such as:
No one can manage my bipolar disorder for me. Taking personal ownership and control is my responsibility.
I can't do everything I used to do. What I can do, I can't always do as well or as easily as I once did. But what I can do, when I feel up to it, I do pretty well, and that's good enough.
Anything worthwhile-like relationships or recovery-takes time. There are no magic pills, but there are sound principles that, when pursued persistently and patiently, can help improve your life.
A positive change in direction requires making a change for the better. When you choose not to change anything in your life, don't be surprised when nothing changes.
To read more from "Embrace the inescapable truths" (Winter 2007) click here

bp blog
Click here to read & comment:

Currently in post-production is Delaney Ruston's ground-breaking feature documentary, Where in the World is Mental Health? Nearly 1 in 30 people live with severe mental illness, over 150 million on the planet. Yet we rarely hear these peoples' stories first hand. This hour long film follows the lives of 4 such people living in India, China, France, and the US. What emerges are scenes of profound frustration, along with moments of incredible compassion, as we witness the ways in which communities include, and exclude, these individuals. Interwoven into these stories is an exploration of how each culture has arrived at its current attitude toward the mentally ill. And ultimately the film addresses the most critical question, ...In what direction are we, as a global society, moving to improve the lives of these citizens?

watch here

If you are interested in serving on the M.H. Board, contact Marianne Wedemeyer, board secretary, at 619.563.2737 or
  • District 1; Supervisor Greg Cox: Mental Health Discipline
  • District 2; Supervisor Dianne Jacob: Direct Consumer & Family Member
  • District 3; Supervisor Pam Slater: Direct Consumer
  • District 5; Supervisor Bill Horn: Direct Consumer & Mental Health Discipline


Law Prompts Some Health Plans To Cut Mental-Health Benefits
by Russell Adams & Avery Johnson

Members of the Screen Actors Guild recently read in their health plan's newsletter that, beginning in January, almost 12,000 of its participants will lose access to treatment for mental-health and substance-abuse issues.

The guild's health plan represents one of a small number of unions, employers and insurers that are scrapping such benefits for their enrollees because of a 2008 law that requires that mental-health and substance-abuse benefits, if offered, be as robust as medical or surgical benefits. By dropping such coverage, providers can circumvent the requirements.
Others that have made the same move include the Plumbers Welfare Fund, representing about 3,500 members in the Chicago area, and Woodman's Food Market, a chain in Wisconsin with 13 stores and about 2,200 employees. United Security Life and Health Insurance Co., of Bedford Park, Ill., dropped mental-health coverage in individual policies it sells in Indiana and Nebraska this year because it saw costs rising and some competitors dropping coverage, said chief compliance officer Robert Dial.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation's 2010 Employer Health Benefits survey, about one-third of firms with more than 50 workers said they made changes in the benefits they offer in response to the law, and 5% of those said they dropped mental-health coverage.
Bruce Dow, the chief executive of SAG's Producers Pension and Health Plans, said actuaries consulted by the plan determined that equalizing mental-health and substance-abuse coverage would double costs, to north of $3 million annually. That's on top of a deficit expected to be in the tens of millions of dollars in 2011, the plan's board of trustees has told participants.
"We're not in a position to afford it," Mr. Dow said. "This is unfortunate because we would have liked to have retained our existing programs."
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was signed into law in 2008. It prohibited large health plans from setting higher copayments or limiting doctor visits for mental-health care, among other things. Federal regulations on implementing the legislation weren't issued until earlier this year, so the new requirements go into effect for many plans starting in 2011.
Those decisions are hitting home now, since plans' open enrollment periods tend to run before the end of the year. Insurers and consultants say few plans are dropping the coverage, but many companies have expressed concerns about how to comply.
Cigna Corp., an insurer that specializes in large corporate accounts, has been running webinars to counsel employers on the changes. The National Business Group on Health surveyed large corporations and found that 89% reported having to make some changes to their plan to be compliant with the law, and 18% increased deductibles to cover the new costs.
"The big issue with employers is, 'Well, how much is this going to cost?"' said Doug Nemecek, Cigna's senior medical director for behavioral health. They also want to know what limits they can have, if any, on mental-health benefits.
Mental-health and addiction advocates say the relatively small number of plans opting out reinforces projections by the Congressional Budget Office that the law would have a minimal impact on insurance premiums. The CBO estimated premiums for group health insurance would increase by an average of 0.4%.
Steve Melek, a behavioral health-care expert for the consulting and actuarial firm Milliman Inc., said there is "ample" evidence suggesting that not providing benefits for mental health and addiction leads to higher costs down the road.
In coming years, plans that drop coverage might pick it back up because of the federal health overhaul. That law requires that plans selling insurance through online marketplaces known as health exchanges meet a certain minimum level of benefits. Regulations detailing what those are haven't been written, but likely will include some form of mental-health coverage.
Terry Musto, administrator of the Plumbers Welfare Fund, said actuaries examined the fund's options for more than a year and determined that rolling back coverage, along with doubling deductibles and a few other moves, was the best course for a group facing about 40% unemployment.
"You either cut them [the workers] out or you cut out something like mental health," Mr. Musto said, adding the fund hopes to add such coverage back when the economy recovers.
Woodman's dropped the coverage for 2010, said vice president Clint Woodman, who declined to elaborate on the decision.
SAG's decision is reverberating particularly loudly among its members. The entertainment industry ranks in the top three business segments in rates of illicit drug use and heavy alcohol use, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
"It was shocking to me," said Christopher Lawford, a SAG member. "Like everyone else in this country, I expected that when the U.S. Congress passed parity legislation and the president pushed through his health-care reform, we would have cooperation on the part of providers and the insurance industry to actually deliver on some of this stuff. I think that was naive. It's always about money."
The SAG plan that is dropping benefits covered 11,644 participants and dependents as of the middle of this year, and is available to participants who earn enough to qualify for coverage but less than about $30,000 a year. Higher earners qualify for a more comprehensive plan. A large chunk of SAG's more than 100,000 members don't earn enough to qualify for the two health plans.
Mr. Dow, the chief executive of the SAG plans, said that strict application of the law is the most difficult part to swallow: Plans have to eliminate prescription-drug coverage for mental health or substance abuse as well. As a result, SAG members won't be able to go to their primary physician and get a prescription for an antidepressant, for example. He said the plan will begin working with its members to help refer them to community-treatment options.
                                                       NEWS ALERTS

Perception of facial emotion in adults with bipolar or unipolar depression and controls

Journal of Psychiatric Research, 12/29/2010
Schaefer KL et al. - Previous research indicates that patients with depression display deficits in their ability to perceive emotions. However, few studies have used animated facial stimuli or explored sensitivity to facial expressions in depressed individuals. Moreover, limited research is available on facial processing in unipolar versus bipolar depression. These preliminary findings suggest that subjects with bipolar depression may have emotional processing abnormalities relative to controls.  more...

Treatments for bipolar disorder: can number needed to treat/harm help inform clinical decisions
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 12/30/2010
Ketter TA et al. - Clinical trials can help inform clinical decision making by quantifying the likelihood of benefit vs. harm. Integrating such data with individual patient circumstances, values, and preferences can help optimize treatment choices.

Association between age of onset and mood in bipolar disorder: Comparison of subgroups identified by cluster analysis and clinical observation
Journal of Psychiatric Research, 12/28/2010
Bauer M et al. - The study compared subgroups identified by cluster analysis and clinical observation by evaluating the association between the age of onset of bipolar disorder and self-reported daily mood ratings. Age of onset subgroups arising from clinical observation may be more useful than those determined by cluster analysis. more...

Placebos Work, Even When We Know They're Placebos
By TRACI PEDERSEN Associate News Editor
Taking a placebo appears to be effective even  when the patient is fully aware it's not a working drug, according to researchers at Harvard Medical School's Osher Research Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). read on..

From across "the Pond" comes Jonathan Ashby's newsletter "Forward". Jonathan, who is on our Consumer Advisory Board, writes a mental health newsletter with articles, poems, stories etc., from around the globe. Enjoy!

Click here to read FORWARD

                                                   NEWS FROM NAMI & DBSA
NAMI San Diego
Free Education & Advocacy Meeting
Thursday, January 6, 2011 -6:30 p.m.

Mental Health AdvocacyEmpower yourself this year, and get involved with Mental Health Advocacy!

Are you or someone in your family wondering how new legislation could affect the mental health of the San Diego community? We here at NAMI San Diego want to inform our members about any new legislation that passed in November and legal rights regarding the mental health community in San Diego. The Mental Health Program Manager for the Consumer Center for Health Education and Advocacy since 2003, and a well-known advocate for the rights of mental health clients and persons who are homeless, Carol Neidenberg, is going to be speaking about the legal rights for you and your loved ones that are living with mental illness.

It will be a huge benefit to those living with a mental illness and their family members to know more about the legal rights and obligations that San Diegan's face; and get an expert's point of view of how to be more involved and educated about issues that affect us.

San Diego County NAMI Walk
April 16th, 2011
NAMI Walks for the Mind of America....Changing minds one step at a time !
Balboa Park - 6th Ave & Quince

101 Stories: things we know now we wish we knew then

42 NAMI San Diego members have come together to write a book about their shared experience in the mental health journey and this is our story. 

In this book, authors share moments of great pain to great joy and      stories range from personal lived experience with a mental illness to    having a sibling, child, or parent with a mental illness.  The goal was to have at least one story that each person can relate to.  BUY THE BOOK AT:

NAMI North Coastal San Diego
January 20, 7:00pm
Updates on MHSA Programs & County M.H.'s Position on Laura's Law with speakers Alfredo Aguirre & Piedad Garcia. St. Michael's Episcopal Church 2775 Carlsbad Ave, Carsbad.

Wednesdays, 1:00-2:00p. Call 760.439.2785 for info or directions.

Family to Family Course Starting
Jan. 25 - April 5. Register by calling: 760.722.3754


Please plan to attend this meeting and support Laura Law.
This is a step to try to get the mental Health Board( who represents the county board of supervisors) to vote in favor of implementing Laura's Law.  We want to get as many supporters there as possible. Please spread the word
The MH Board meeting on January 6 is from 4-6 PM in Rooms 302/303 at the SD County Administration Building at 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego 92101.  Alfredo will probably speak first for about 10 minutes and state the MH Department's position.  Carla will take about 20 minutes with up to 10 minutes for Q&A.  There may only be time for about 5 or 6 public speakers  at the beginning of the meeting who will have only 2-3 minutes to speak, depending on the number who sign up.

Elizabeth McCoy, Esq.: Special Needs Trusts & Conservatorships
If you have a child or other family member with Autism or any other disability, you will more than likely need to set up a Special Needs Trust for him or her.

My practice focuses primarily on Special Needs Trusts and estate planning for families who have children with disabilities. As a result, my office has streamlined the process, making it easy and affordable for you to accomplish this extremely important task.

For more info please contact me at:
Elizabeth McCoy, Esq.
31493 Rancho Pueblo Rd., Ste. 205
Temecula, CA 92596

                             SAVE THE DATE
  • January 20: NEXT TO NORMAL, 1/2 price tickets (to purchase, see above block)
  • January 26: The Mental Health Committee of Jewish Family Service Invites You to an Educational Event in Support of Mental Health Awareness Children and Mental Health: A Panel Discussion and Resource Fair for Parents and Caregivers Register Online: (858) 637-3231 click here for pdf postcard
  • February 9-11: Treating the Challenging Child; The Collaborative Problem Solving Approach with headliner Ross Green
    Manchester Grand Hyatt. To register:
  • February 25: CLICK! our annual game show fund raiser (to get tickets, see above block)
  • March 19: IEP Day 2011-28th Annual Involved Exceptional Parents' (IEP) Day Conference. click here for flyer
    Handlery Hotel in Mission Valley, San Diego
  • May 5: "Treating University Students with Bipolar Disorder." Dr. Russ Federman from the Univ. of VA
  • May 26: Lunch & lecture with Margaret Trudeau; Hyatt Aventine - La Jolla

About the International Bipolar Foundation
International Bipolar Foundation is a not for profit organization based in San Diego whose mission is to eliminate Bipolar Disorder through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support services for all affected; and to erase associated stigma through public education.
Visit us online for more information:
We have a new Community Page on FaceBook.

Please join us on Facebook and "Like" us and help us spread the word.
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A Word About Funding
Please note that International Bipolar Foundation does not represent any pharmaceutical company or give any speeches for a pharmaceutical company nor does our site receive advertising dollars from any company.