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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health

Mission: Uniquely focused on the needs of musicians with bipolar disorder, we support and conduct research on bipolar disorder and creativity while promoting awareness, providing education, and serving as a resource for these musicians and their support systems in order to foster acceptance, functioning and health.

Target demographics: Musicians and other creative professionals with bipolar disorder. Because of Sean's celebrity, we have an international reach. Direct beneficiaries are those who have entered treatment due to our programs and education, as well as family members we have supported. Indirect beneficiaries are society as a whole. BD is the 6th cause of disability in the world (WHO), with the highest mortality of any psychiatric disorder.

Geographic areas served: We have done benefits in various US locations; however, our population and reach is international. To date, we have had 10 or more benefits in different cities in the US where educational information was available and BD and its comorbitites were addressed. Additionally, we funded research on the connection between bipolar disorder and creativity which was then presented at the IRB in Rome, April 2011, the largest conference on BD in the world. We also participated in a Community Consultation Day in Vancouver in partnership with the University of British Columbia.

Programs: Due to our international reach, we are primarily an internet based organization at ths time. We are seeking a grant for a documentary, an internet and mobile based application to monitor sleep (to prevent mania), and an educational symposium aimed at School Counselors and Nurses in the Atlanta area

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Sarah146

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Sean Costello Memorial Fund is devoted to spreading awareness about bipolar disorder in the creative community. This is a disease that is often overlooked and misunderstood, which makes the SCMF's mission that much more vital to the artistic population.

Tammy57

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I met Sean when he was so young his mother had to be in the club with him. His was a beautiful and extreme talent. It was devastating when he died so unexpectedly. I, like many others, had no idea he suffered from bipolar disorder. I'm very proud of the work of the Foundation in getting the word out and turning a very personal loss into something positive for so many. The Sean Costello Memorial Fund helps carry forward all the beautiful things about Sean and others affected by this disorder. He'll live forever in our hearts and through this project.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The SCMF is a great non-profit that works to bring attention and resources to a disease that is not understood and often inadequately treated. The Fund focuses an the creative professionals, a group more commonly impacted by bipolar disorder. By better understanding the understanding of the connection between creativity and bipolar disorder and by reducing the stigma, we will be able to better help those impacted by this mental health issue.

Mary223

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Sean Costello Memorial Fund cares greatly for the creative souls of all ages, races and socioeconomic groups who struggle with Bipolar and its consequences throughout our society. Their focus is on research, education, assistance, and better understanding as well as the eventual cure for the difficult disorder. Mary Fletcher, board member

Lauren63

Board Member

Rating: 5

The SCMF is a great non-profit that works hard to shed light on Bipolar Disorder, a disease that is way too often misunderstood. A better understanding of BD is crucial since it often takes up to 10 years to diagnose and in that time many lives are torn apart and even lost. While our main focus is on Bipolar Disorder and creativity our organization offers research, support and understanding to anyone who suffers from this devastating disease.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The SCMF works incredibly hard to bring the devastating effects of bipolar disorder on creative adults and children to light - also attempting to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness. Research into this disorder is far overdue with it taking 7-10 years to diagnose. Although a young organization, The SMCF has already contributed outstanding research to the scientific community whilst providing support for those effected by this illness.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I feel this is a GREAT Nonprofit Organization and can help so many people who suffer from Bipolar Disorder. It is a scary disease that affects children and adults. I have a close friend who has this disorder, and so does her daughter, and my heart aches for the struggles they go through. I feel that more research is needed to help those who are confused, scared, and feeling helpless while dealing with Bipolar. I support the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research and appreciate the efforts put forth to help others become aware of this disease.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization to serve. The unique population that we focus on aligns with my own interests in music, creativity and bipolar disorder. The organization's board is diverse, committed, and driven to fulfill its goals. The fundraising concerts and the Beautiful Minds series hosted by the SCMF always have a large turnout and make being part of this group rewarding.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research fulfills a need that is too often ignored in our society: research, family support, and exploring the link between Bipolar and creativity. Too late diagnosed or too often misdiagnosed, Bipolar Disorder exacts a terrible toll not only on those who have it, but their friends and loved ones as well. The fund has made great strides in making connections between Bipolar and both sleep issues and creativity, crucial discoveries that will help the mental health community to diagnose and treat this disease earlier and more effectively.

Deborah S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Bipolar Disorder affects 1 in 10 people, with a 10% higher incidence in the creative population. It takes 10 years to diagnose, and during that time, people self-medicate. Mania is a mood often associated with BD and it can be a deadly one. More research and education is needed to get help to people earlier. It is the highest rate of mortality of all psychiatric illnesses, with a 50% higher rate of successful suicide than the general population. Often, all the sufferer wants to do is sleep.

I know from correspondence that we have saved lives, and continue to foster communication about a disease shrouded in stigma. There is little in the way of grants or even insurance. There aren't large groups of people drawn to support of the disease because of the stigma. Sean was a wonderful, talented, sweet boy who died because of poor diagnosis and intervention. The unnecessary suffering must stop and that's what we aim to do.

I am proud to represent the Sean Costello Fund and spend many hours working towards the success of its mission.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Sean Costello Fund has opened the conversation about Bipolar Disorder and creativity with an international impact. Within two years of receiving its non-profit status, it has partnered with researchers from the US (Berkeley), Vancouver (U of British Columbia) and Australia (Swineburne U), resulting in a presentation at the IRBD in Rome in April of 2011. This area is fraught with suggestions, but little research which could result in much improved outcomes for this population. In addition to this, there have been benefits sponsored in Connecticut, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, just to name a few. Conversation is the beginning of stigma reduction.