April 2015
Support IBPF while you shop online.
Select IBPF, click a store and do your usual shopping. 
Same Products, Same Prices. No Cost. No Sign-up.
Mys support image

WOW! Thank you so much to all who participated in our WORLD BIPOLAR DAY (March 30) Call to Action. The photos with quotes were powerful, uplifting and inspiring.

In the Northern Hemisphere, Spring has finally arrived. For some that brings periods of elation, for others, mania. Do your moods change with the seasons? Read this article about the highs and lows of spring.

In the U.S. April is Volunteer Appreciation Month. It is with the deepest gratitude that I thank each and every one of you for your support, your heartfelt blogs, your quizzical & hopeful posts, your time and commitment, your energy, and your compassion. Erma Bombeck said it best, "Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another."

To your health,

Muffy Walker  


Evonne Agnello: 

"Recovery From Trauma"

Wednesday, April 1st, at 9:00 am PST

Evonne Agnello illustrates the healing possible by speaking openly about mental illness. She describes her recovery from depression following the suicides of her father and brother. Her colorful slides have clear, simple, messages. There's even some levity and song.  

Evonne was first treated for depression in college and later diagnosed bipolar II. She describes how she forged a positive recovery and reads passages from her book, "Shaking Shame from Mental Illness." The stories offer help and comfort to those dealing with trauma or depression. She will explore mental illness from both sides - within the mind of the sufferer and of those watching the suffering - and sends hope for all. She shows that mental illness is highly treatable and manageable and need not poison your life. Her insights may reveal clues to your own experiences, and as one reader found, "...was cathartic on many levels." Her intention is to broaden understanding of mental illness.

Those who suffer must keep trying to find solutions because the possible and probable result is a life worth living. Writing helped her claim peace about the suicides of her father and brother, neutralize pain, and find meaning in suffering. Painful memories slowly diffused their power to grip her with sadness. Agnello said, "It was clear that it would have been more painful not to have worked toward catharsis, so my motivation was seldom lacking. My compulsion to tell these stories and the constantly refreshing feelings writing them moved me forward." Her message is an example of the biopsychosocial (BPS) model, popularly referred to as the mind body connection. 

Evonne started writing as a young girl and has never stopped. She worked 30 years as a newspaper journalist, writing stories about others before writing a memoir, "Shaking Shame from Mental Illness.

Evonne has presented her message in five states and Germany. She is active in NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at the local, state, and national levels. She has lobbied both her Statehouse and Congress on behalf of mental health issues and recently completed NAMI's "In Our Own Voice" training. She is currently a member of her local League of Women Voters Mental Health Study Committee that is conducting a two-year study of local mental health care needs and services.

After receiving her Bachelor's of Science, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota, she worked in Germany for 18 months. She published weekly newspapers in Nebraska and Minnesota, worked for dailies in Washington and Oregon, and retired as Executive Director of Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association, a non-profit trade association of newspapers in six western states.


Dr. Erin Michalak: 

Setting sail: Launch of the CREST.BD Bipolar Wellness Centre 

Wednesday, April 8th , at 9:00 am PST

The CREST.BD network (www.crestbd.ca) will launch its new online 'Bipolar Wellness Centre' on World Bipolar Day, March 30th 2015. Produced with research funding from the Canadian government, the website - and the cutting edge evidence and tools on quality of life (QoL) and self-management of BD it houses - have been in preparation for over two years. Within the Bipolar Wellness Centre are a number of unique interactive features, such as a sophisticated QoL Tool, videos showing concrete examples of BD self-management in action, 14 expert webinars on different QoL domains, a 'Living Library' and resources for healthcare providers. The QoL Tool allows people with BD to measure their QoL over time, and provides them with tailored information on self-management strategies that reflect their personal QoL profile.

In this webinar, Dr. Erin Michalak, Leader of CREST.BD, will:  

1. Describe the importance of QoL assessment and supported self-management in people with bipolar disorder

2. Introduce CREST.BD's QoL Tool, designed to support QoL assessment in people with bipolar disorder 

3. Introduce CREST.BD's Bipolar Wellness Centre, designed to support evidence-informed self-management in people with bipolar disorder 

Dr. Erin Michalak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her background is in psychology, with a PhD awarded from the University of Wales College of Medicine in the United Kingdom. Her research interests are in bipolar disorder, quality of life, knowledge translation, self-management, e-health, seasonal and nonseasonal depression, and assessment scales for mood disorders. Dr. Michalak's research has been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation, amongst others. She is the founder and leader of the 'Collaborative RESearch Team for the study of psychosocial issues in Bipolar Disorder' (CREST.BD, www.crestbd.ca), a CIHR-funded Canadian network designed to foster psychosocial research and knowledge translation in BD.  She has published over 80 scientific articles and several books and book chapters. She lives on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, where she is an avid mushroom hunter and breeder of Giant Schnauzers.


Space is limited. Reserve your seat now at: 



Ann Douglas:

Parenting Through the Storm

Wednesday April 22nd, at 9:00 am PST

Coping strategies for parents who have a child who is struggling with a mental, neurodevelopmental, or behavioural challenge. Topics to be discussed include self-care, self-compassion, creating your own support network, and lifestyle matters (nutrition, fitness, sleep, stress management, and making time for fun). This presentation is based on interviews with more than 50 parents who have walked this walk and who are eager to share their best advice with other parents. These interviews formed the basis for Ann's latest book, Parenting Through the Storm: How to Handle The Highs, The Lows, and Everything In-Between -- a book for parents who have a child who is struggling with a mental health, neurodevelopmental, or behavioural challenge (published by HarperCollins Canada in January). 


Ann Douglas is the author of Parenting Through the Storm and numerous other books about parenting, including the bestselling The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. She is also the mother of four children who have struggled with a variety of different mental health, neurodevelopmental, and behavioural challenges -- and who are currently thriving. 

A passionate and inspiring speaker, Ann delivers keynote addresses and leads small-group workshops at health, parenting, and education conferences.

She has created and delivered parenting courses for high-profile websites such as WebMD and AOL as well as on behalf of government clients and Fortune-500 companies. 

You can find out more about Ann and her book by visiting her website at www.anndouglas.net


Space is limited. Reserve your seat now at:



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

IBPF Volunteers of the Year
Your contributions are invaluable!

Libby Hewes                                                           Cameron Meeker                                            
Libby is a local volunteer in San Diego, California. She speaks on behalf of IBPF and represents us at local resource fairs to spread awareness about bipolar disorder and how IBPF can be of help. Libby is wonderful at connecting with people and is very knowledgable. She also helps with many office projects such as assembling our "Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder" book and our gala invitations. Read more

Cameron lives in Arizona and she is a graphic designer. You have seen her work if you follow any of our social media accounts. She also designs graphics for many of our events, including our Stigma Buster 5k, Essay contest, several anti stigma campaigns, and so on. She is available to provide any graphic need that we may have. If you participated in World Bipolar Day and needed help inserting your text, Cameron was responsible for this! Read more

 Gooey Lemon Bars - Caramel Brownies - Yumm Bars - Red Velvet Bars
10% of all proceeds will benefit IBPF. Thank you for your support!

Thank you for participating!

Read more here
For more information contact Debbie Brown at dbrown@ibpf.org or purchase your ticket 
View our video invite here!
                   OUR NEW IBPF BLOGGERS

Lauren Meredith

Jessica Christenbury

Mark Maiden

Michele Barrett

Arianna Dixon

 Alana L


Meet them here!
   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!


Story of Hope and Recovery

   Bill Lee's Story 


I was born with a defective heart and was raised by my biological parents. I mention this because my mother and father attempted a medical abortion while I was in utero and subsequently entered negotiations to sell me. These events provide a glimpse of the environment I was born into and how it may have contributed to the onset and progression of my mood disorders. There appears to be a genetic connection as well. Read more here



1% of all "Philosophy" sales supports community based mental health efforts Click here to know how Natasha Beddingfield is supporting "Philosophy".

**International Bipolar Foundation Scientific Advisory Board Member(s)
* Honorary 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! 

Newly Diagnosed With Bipolar? 
 Make your video today!
"You've Got This" supports the Bipolar community. View the videos from Bipolar sufferers encouraging those with Bipolar to know they are not alone and that they've "got this" and then make your own video!


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!

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

My Path to Living Mindfully and Compassionately with Mood Disorders
In his previous memoirs ("Chinese Playground" and "Born to Lose"), Bill Lee detailed his violent upbringing in the Chinatown underworld and his forty-year gambling addiction and recovery. He disclosed that he suffers from mood disorders, including PTSD and manic depression. In this book, Lee describes, how after decades of treatment involving different modalities of psychotherapy and being prescribed powerful psychotropic medications, he discovered a more-effective protocol for treating his mood disorder symptoms. 




On a sultry summer afternoon, Benny Malone's world flew wildly out of control, and life as she had known it ended abruptly. Benny and her husband, Rob, were well educated, healthy, loving parents rearing two smart, handsome sons in a suburban neighborhood in Houston, Texas. You probably would have thought all was well with the Malone family . . . but it wasn't. Bloodstained rugs in their kitchen, yellow crime scene tape across the front of their home, and a media frenzy in their front yard belied the horrific event that had happened.

Read more 




My Living Will is the story of former major league pitcher John Trautwein, and the unbelievable tragedy which befell him and his family when his fifteen-year-old son, Will, took his own life. There had been no warnings, no obvious signs of anxiety, depression, or unhappiness; nothing. A family and a community were left stunned as they pondered how a young man like Will Trautwein, a healthy, happy, popular, athletic, and musical teenager, who came from such a loving home, could lose the will to live. Read More


"All my life I had been known for my mind, and now the only thing I trusted was going out of control." That was the situation that confronted me when I was initially diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Seven years of medication, rehab and therapy had got me stable and functioning again. And then ... the illness came back. Following an explosive meltdown fueled by a relapse of my Bipolar Disorder, I found myself surrounded by shambles: of my home, my arranged marriage, and my life. Confused and frustrated, I saw no choice but to leave everything I knew behind and search for a better way to live. Having previously been misdiagnosed once, an error that had disastrous consequences, I was determined this time not just to control my illness, but also to truly understand and overcome it. From a village in my homeland of India to the mysterious Wudang Mountains in China, Warrior: 




ROB: A Grief Observed


Suicide, violence, war, accident . . . Events that challenge the core of Belief, the logic of Life, and the personal views of how to move forward into a future that is dramatically and forever changed.

Death by any means is an eternal game-changer for those who are left. But the unexpected, unexplained loss of a significant other can affect mind, body and soul of those who cared, who were involved in the life of the one lost.

"ROB: A Grief Observed" presents one father's search, over a long period of time, for some way to express the deeply personal questions, the mental challenges to reconcile the past with the future, and the theological conundrum that irrational loss presents.


Learning to Swallow is an intimate portrait of a resilient young woman, Patsy Desmond. A charismatic, emerging artist, the "it girl" seemingly had it all: admiring friends and lovers, a prestigious work assignment with an internationally renowned artist in New York City and the potential to successfully realize her dreams. And in spite of this, Patsy struggled with bipolar disorder too. A failed suicide attempt leaves Patsy unable to swallow and for the remainder of her life must receive sustenance through a food tube. 

Watch video here 

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

Do you have bipolar disorder (BD) and do you misuse drugs or alcohol?  If so, you may be interested in helping us better understand the meaning and experience of substance use and abuse among adults with BD.


Did you know that most adults with bipolar disorder will struggle with substances? Roughly 60% of those with BD will abuse alcohol and/or other substances. Existing research indicates that substance misuse can negatively impact BD symptoms and quality of life.


We are undertaking an exploratory study to better understand substance use and misuse among persons with bipolar disorder across the adult life course. The meaning and experience of substance use and abuse among adults will be explored. For more information, please go to: http://get.sfu.ca/BkzqPW


 Via the Bipolar Collaborative Network and the

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Parents, if your child (aged 2 - 12) has mood or behavioral difficulties, we would like to enlist your participation in a study called the Child Network. Parents who enroll in the study will complete an online rating checklist of your child's symptoms once a week by a secure web-based system.


In addition, adults who have been diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder and are the biological parent of a child (ages 2-12) who is currently healthy and has no troublesome mood or behavioral symptoms may also be eligible to participate in this study.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please go to www.bipolarnews.org
For more information, call 301-530-8245  or email childnetworkbnn@gmail.com.



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 

April 6th, 2015
Register here
*IBPF Board Member 7-22
National Alcohol Screening Day
April 9th, 2015
How do you score? Anonymous test here
Me2/ Music For Mental Health
April 12th & 30th, 2015
Vermont, USA
May 2nd, 2015
Quebec, Canada
April 16, 2015
Ontario, Canada
April 17th-20th
Barcelona, Spain
National Council Conference
April 20-22, 2015
Orlando, Florida
Teen Depression Webinar
April 28th, 2015 
Mental HealthAwarenessMonth
May 2015
May 3rd-Mental Health Dignity Day
May 9th
San Marcos, CA 
ISBD Annual Conference
June 3-6, 2015
Toronto, Canada
July 2015
United States

September 19th

California, USA