February 2015

Last month, I attended several very important neuropsychiatric meetings.

I left feeling inspired and energized by the world's stance to embrace mental illness and its inherent stigma. At the World Economic Forum (WEF), mental health in 2015 was compared to AIDS in 2014 when the WEF declared the need for a global focus on an emerging, heavily stigmatized, frequently misunderstood disorder.

At the Alexandria Summit, legislators, scientists and advocates voiced the need to galvanize our global communities to move research and treatment for brain illnesses forward.

Our mission, since our inception, has been just that! Below, you will see many opportunities to join our TEAM and help make the world a better place for those affected by and with bipolar disorder.

We are grateful for all your support and we welcome 2015! If you would like to make a new-year tax-deductible donation to help us continue to grow, please donate here.
To your health,

Muffy Walker  


Kathy Brandt & Max Maddox: 

Recovering from the Bipolar Myth

Wednesday, February 4th, at 9:00 am PST

A diagnosis of bipolar disorder does not mean that your life is out of your hands. Max, who has been living with bipolar for sixteen years, and Kathy, his mother, will dispute three harmful myths that can interfere with recovery. They will illustrate through their own experience that full recovery is possible, that individuals are in control of their own recovery, and that it is worth the risk to speak openly about one's illness. They will explain how they developed their own strategies for navigating healthcare while creating space for personal choices. 

Kathy and Max are the authors of Walks on the Margins: A Story of Bipolar Illness. The book aims to put a face on mental illness and tells of their struggle and recovery after Max was diagnosed with bipolar in 1999.You can contact them on their websites:  www.KathyBrandtAuthor.com  and www.MaxMaddox.net


Space is limited. Reserve your seat now at:

Lizabeth Schuch: 

Beyond Diagnosis: A Message of Hope

Wednesday, February 11th , at 9:00 am PST

Lizabeth D. Schuch, Author of More Than Bipolar: A Memoir of Acceptance and Hope will speak candidly about her journey with bipolar disorder and how she has been able to live well with an illness that can be so devastating at times. Diagnosed at age 17, Lizabeth offers 30 years' experience with this mood disorder and insight into its management.  Along with a brief reading from her memoir, she will share  the wisdom attained to break the hold of the stigma, shame, and fear surrounding this illness as well as the life lessons of acceptance, understanding, and maturity necessary to not only live well with bipolar, but to also move beyond limitations when we identify ourselves as the illness. By sharing her experiences openly, she equips others who are directly affected by this misunderstood illness, as well as those who love and care about them. Her message is one of hope and that a healthy, happy, and productive life with bipolar may indeed be a part of the diagnostic picture.   

Lizabeth D. Schuch earned a bachelor's degree in sociology with a minor in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Formerly a pharmaceutical sales representative, she is pursuing her passion to support others with mental health and substance use issues as the Wellness and Recovery Manager for a community behavioral healthcare agency.  She is on the Board of Directors of the National Capital Area Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).  Her publishing credits include "bp Magazine" and guest blogs on www.bipolarhappens.com.  She is a requested speaker and panelist, and her memoir received the Editor's Choice and Rising Star awards from iUniverse.  Lizabeth lives with her husband in the Washington, DC area.

Space is limited. Reserve your seat now at: 



Serena Goldsmith: 
Story of Hope and Recovery
Wednesday, February 18th , at 9:00 am PST


In this webinar, Serena will be sharing her experiences from her 23 year-long journey of recovery from symptoms of severe bipolar disorder and Crohn's disease.  Serena will discuss the particular symptoms of bipolar disorder type I that she experienced and how they affected her life, along with her additional challenges with Crohn's disease and the ways in which her mental and physical symptoms impacted each other.  Serena will also talk about the things that she has learned on her quest for mind, body, and spirit health that have enabled her to become well and maintain her wellness.  Specifically, Serena will share eight factors/lifestyle changes that she has discovered and implemented in her life which have greatly supported her on her recovery path.  Incorporating these health-promoting principles into her daily life has allowed her to achieve a level of wellness that has made it possible for her to live a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life and to work toward creating the life of her dreams.  There will be an opportunity to ask Serena questions at the conclusion of her talk. 


Space is limited: Reserve your seat now at:




Martin Kolbe:

The Bipolar Roadshow

Wednesday, February 25th, at 9:00 am PST


Martin's story is dramatically fascinating, full of rises and falls, like the bipolar disorder. In the eighties, Martin was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which kept him away from the musical scene for twenty years. He has just come out with a new wonderful record titled Songs from Inside, which include songs inspired from his experience as a psychiatric patient. 


Space is limited. Reserve your seat now at:



After registering you will receive a confirmation email
containing information about joining the Webinar.


Dr. Jennifer Bahr: 
Resilience, the Hallmark of Health

Tuesday, February 17th at 5:30 pm

Janssen Research & Development

3210 Merryfield Row

La Jolla, Ca 92121


Dr. Jennifer Bahr, ND draws from her unique perspective gained from experience in both conventional and natural medicine as well as both doctor and patient to discuss what she has learned to be the most important hallmark of health resilience. In this talk, Dr. Bahr shares her perspectives on health and resilience based on both physical and emotional markers, as well as some guidelines on how she achieves this for herself and her patients.  


Dr. Jennifer Bahr is a licensed naturopathic doctor that specializes in the natural treatments for mental illness and endocrine disorders. Dr. Bahr is among the most highly trained doctors in this field. In fact, she is the only doctor to have completed a naturopathic residency focused on the homeopathic treatment of mental illness. Dr. Bahr brings a unique perspective to treating all of her patients. She combines excellent clinical skills, targeted lab testing, and compassion rooted in life experiences to her practice, making a visit with her truly a better healthcare experience. 

For more information contact Ashley Jacobs ajacobs@ibpf.org or 858-764-2496
   Do you live in the 49th District in CA?                              Unsure? Check here
You, your spouse, voting kids, etc., PLEASE take 5 minutes to call Congressman Darrell Issa's office and ask him to please support our anti-stigma bill by bringing it to the floor at 202-225-3906.  


H.R. ES 572 Resolution for designation of the first full week of May as                            ''National Mental Health No Stigma Week''


Sample conversation:

I am calling to you to express my support for the H.R. ES 572 Resolution for designation of the first full week of May as ''National Mental Health No Stigma Week'', and I am asking that you also support it by bringing it to the floor.


If you prefer to write, click here for a sample letter.

As you may already be aware, a similar resolution was passed in California; ACR110 California Mental Health No Stigma Week.


Please forward this to friends & family in 49th district, ask your Democratic or Republican clubs to help!


   Support group for children who have a sibling with bipolar disorder in San Diego between the ages of 10-14


My name is Jacob Sheffres and I am a senior at Poway High School.  My older brother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 4 years old. I have lived my entire life watching him struggle with his illness and I know firsthand how hard it can be on others in the family, especially siblings. When I was 13, I participated in a support group for kids who

had a sibling with bipolar disorder, and I found it very beneficial to have an outlet to express my frustrations and receive support from others who shared the same experience. As a part of my senior year curriculum, I have to complete a Senior Project. For my project I have chosen to re-create such a support group for children who have a sibling with bipolar disorder. I am looking to work with kids between the ages of 10-14. We would meet for an hour every week for 8 sessions. We would learn about bipolar disorder, develop coping strategies, discuss how their week was and anything that had happened with their sibling that had significantly affected them. I will be running the group with Ellie Werner, a licensed child psychologist.  We will be meeting on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm at  Ms. Wernerıs house. I am looking for a handful of kids who would be willing to learn from and share with someone who has ³been there² and understands their struggles.I think that it will be a positive and helpful experience, as it was life-changing for me.

If you are interested I can be reached by e-mail at  Jacob.sheffres@cox.net and on my cell phone at (858)382-4903.

Thank you, 

Jacob Sheffres


World Bipolar Day (WBD) - an initiative of the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD), the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) - will be celebrated each year on March 30th, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who was posthumously diagnosed as probably having bipolar disorder.  


The vision of WBD is to bring world awareness to bipolar disorders and to eliminate social stigma. Through international collaboration, the goal of World Bipolar Day is to bring the world population information about bipolar disorders that will educate and improve sensitivity towards the illness.  

Click here to JOIN  IBPF's 

Our bodies are home to a vast ecosystem of microbes - the microbiome - that has a powerful effect on the brain. Three researchers discuss the emerging gut-microbiome-brain connection and whether microbes may help treat brain disorders.

**International Bipolar Foundation Scientific Advisory Board Member(s)
* Honarary Board Member(s)


You have an opportunity to help us make even more of a difference in our community. GreatNonprofits - a review site like TripAdvisor - is honoring highly reviewed nonprofits with their 2015 Top-Rated List. Won't you help us raise visibility for our work by posting a review of your experience with us? All reviews will be visible to potential donors and volunteers. It's easy and only takes 3 minutes! 


Create Your Review Here! 


Check out our YouTube informational videos. Click on the icon to view the latest: 
Visit our sharecare page and ask our panel of experts a question. Click on the icon to get started!
Watch our latest webinar video below: 
Understanding the neurological and biochemical factors underlying neuropsychiatric disorders: Opening new pathways to treatment 

Follow us on FacebookLike us on Facebook and twitter Follow us on Twitter for current and relevant discussions and information.


Six months after her husband dies, fifty-eight-year-old Florence Loughton falls in love. She falls in love the moment that Hector stretches out his tiny little neck and licks at the smooth tan skin of her face. She soon forms an unlikely bond with twenty-six-year-old Trey Barkley, Hector's dog walker. Trey doesn't seem to mind that he walks dogs for a living or that he still lives with his parents, but when his whole world is set on end by a brief chocolate bar encounter, leading to his arrest for a murder he may or may not have committed-threatening his livelihood, his freedom, and the sanity he's worked so hard to maintain--he minds. 
Read More


This much-needed volume gives clinicians essential strategies for managing the complexities of bipolar disorder and tailoring treatment to each patient's changing needs. Highly readable, accessible, and pragmatic, the book provides expert guidance on critically important treatment questions. It addresses which medications to try and at what dosages, what psychosocial interventions are most helpful at different phases of the illness, how to continually monitor and fine-tune treatment to keep patients functioning well, and how to involve family members productively. 






My name is Dr. Mark Matthews. I am a researcher at Cornell University where we are looking at the use of technology by people like yourself who have bipolar disorder. This questionnaire will help my colleagues and me better understand your use of technology which will in turn inform our design of computer tools for people with bipolar disorder.
Please read this form carefully before agreeing to take part in the study.


Sharp Mesa Vista is currently enrolling men and women aged 18-75 with a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder for outpatient clinical trials. Eligible participants may receive all study-related care at no cost, and may be reimbursed for time and travel. Participation is confidential and trials are safely conducted under the supervision of experienced physicians and research specialists. For more information, or to see if you qualify for a study, contact

Tonya Bell, RN at 858-836-8373 or tonya.bell@sharp.com

Learn More Here

If you are:
  • Between the ages of 21 and 65
  • Have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder

You are invited to participate in this research study to see how effective the MoodSwings website is at improving the well-being of people with bipolar disorder.



How to Participate

To determine if you are eligible, you will first be asked a few questions on the phone.

You will also be interviewed in person and have a physical exam to make sure it is safe for you to participate.

If you are interested, please call our study coordinator at

(631) 638-2053 



To be eligible you must:

-Be between the ages of 18 and 65

-Have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder

-not use drugs or drink a lot of alcohol


If you choose to participate, you will have a brain scan to measure certain receptors in the brain that may be related to bipolar disorder.  You will be paid a possible total of $400 or more. (HIC 1101007933)


If you are interested and think you may be eligible please call our study coordinator at


The UCSD Department of Psychiatry is seeking volunteers for a research study involving genetics and medication response in Bipolar Disorder.

You may be eligible to participate in the study if you:
*are at least 18 years of age
*have been diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder
*are willing to take Lithium for mood stabilization

To learn more about the study, please call: 858-642-3590
or, visit our website here 

BEAM is a comprehensive, early-intervention treatment program for Bipolar I Disorder which uses strength-based services to create a two-year plan designed specifically to put individuals and families back on track.

To be eligible for the BEAM program, participants must:

*Have a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder *Have experienced one manic episode

  but no more than three; and
*Be 14-35 or younger;
*Be a San Francisco or San Mateo County Resident *Have Any health insurance (or      uninsured) 

Learn More Here



Psych Congress is driven to provide practical, clinically relevant education based on the very latest in scientific understanding. The educational agenda concentrates on advances in mental health care, individualized treatment strategies, and the health care team's approach to patient management and wellness. The ultimate goal of the conference is to aid mental health professionals in providing effective, long-term management of patients with mental disorders in order to maximize outcomes and improve quality of life.


Who Should Attend:


This conference is intended for psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, physician assistants, psychologists, primary care physicians, and other health care professionals who seek to increase their knowledge, confidence, and abilities related to psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, and wellness. 

Additional details 

March 3-6, 2015
Bipolar; Mind and Body
March 7, 2015
London, England
March 22-25, 2015
Tampa, Florida

March 25, 2015

Torronto, Canada


World Bipolar Day

March 30, 2015
National Council Conference
April 20-22, 2015
Orlando, Florida
Mental HealthAwarenessMonth
May 2015
CAHM Conference
May 9th
San Marcos, CA 
ISBD Annual Conference
June 3-6, 2015
Toronto, Canada
July 2015
United States

U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress Conference

September 10-13

San Diego, USA