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International Bipolar Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Mental Health, Mental Health Treatment

Mission: The mission of International Bipolar Foundation is to To eliminate Bipolar Disorder through the advancement of research; to promote and enhance care and support services; and to erase associated stigma through public education.

Programs: Healthy living with bipolar disorder book

providing care and support services: outreach and referral program international bloggers

providing educational services: girl scouts of the united states mental health patch my support e-newsletter high school essay contest speakers' bureau webinars monthly lectures say it forward anti-stigma campaign social media: facebook and twitter health media: sharecare and webmd educational videos and brochures conference

Community Stories

45 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have bi-polar. Everyday I realize with this website I am not alone. My struggles don't go unnoticed. They gave great support banners I can proudly display on my Facebook. Having bi-polar doesn't define me as a person , it is part of my person. Through the support on this website many people can show support for others and talk about their story. I am very grateful to the Bi-Polar organization for having the wisdom and strength to boldly help others with this disorder. Sincerely Janet Thomas

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am not a volunteer, or a professional, or any of the other listed categories, I am family member of someone I love who has a dual diagnosis of BPD and BPD (go figure). The IBF site is a breath of fresh air to those of us who have given up the hope finding a better way to help those we care for and about. I have hope again because this very informative site offers so many newer ideas and support to all of us daring to seek answers from the medical institutions in N.America. This site offers the best eyes on the Disorder that I have ever seen.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The diligence, work ethic, and dedication of the International Biopolar Foundation is impeccable. They have reached across the globe helping countless individuals and their families and friends of those with the mental illness Bipolar Disorder. Their efforts have literally saved lives. I highly recommend them to anyone in such need. IBPF is amazing!

Loni K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a person who lives with bipolar, this foundation helps to rid society of the stigma people have towards mental illness. They do their best to get people help and educate others about mental illness. I am fortunate to now serve on their CAC and help advise them on areas we still need to reach. I wish I had known about them early on in my diagnosis.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

For 22 years now I have been the only person who has stayed in contact with my daughter who has Bipolar disorder, the pain and struggle that she and I have gone through can't be describe here. My daughter again is hospitalized, I cannot express how thankful and grateful the education I have received on the webinars through International Bipolar Foundation, they have enabled and equip me to see that education of this illness has finally given me understanding and hope for my daughter. My prayer is that one day she can view this educational webinars and referrals so she can start to see that she has a hopeful, productive future. This education that I have gone through should be given to doctors, hospitals and long term facilities and social workers that are connected to help the mentally ill patient.

Evelyn7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The day I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder was such an eventful experience that I will never forget. It has impacted every decision I have made in my life from that point forward. I have been so blessed to find such an organization as this at such a young age! My thanks goes out to those that created/run this organization. I learned about you five years after my diagnosis, and those first five years were very difficult and lonely with no one outside my immediate family to support me. Now that I have found an entire network of those that have the same diagnosis as I have, I'm not so lonely anymore........ so thanks!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has been a huge support to my whole family. I am so grateful that we found them! My daughter struggles with Bipolar Disorder. Together we can make a difference.

Linda A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I were blind-sided when our son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Even though I had been a teacher for 31 years, we were not prepared for this diagnosis for our son. I combed the internet looking for information. There wasn't very much back then. I did find a Mental Health Fair in our area which we attended and discovered the California Bipolar Foundation which had been started by some mothers of bipolar children. We signed up for the newsletter and spent the day at the resource tables and sessions. This is where we found parent support groups and information about nutrition. I became a volunteer for the newly named International Bipolar Foundation and helped with the Education Committee, resource fairs, and fund-raisers. Since then, we have used the referral and information IBPF offers on their website. I have become involved with offering and awarding the Girl Scouts' special patch: Mental Health Awareness. I still attend my support group every month. Being involved in International Bipolar Foundation has benefitted our family and helped us help our son with the challenges of bipolar disorder.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When our daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, we were blind-sided and ignorant. We were so glad to discover the International Bipolar Foundation, known as California Bipolar Foundation back then. We received badly needed support and information. We immediately attended support groups for parents which were sponsored by IBPF. Since then, we've attended lectures, health fairs and fund-raisers organized by IBPF. The newsletter, website, publications and webinars have helped us stay informed about the latest research and treatments. I have become a member of the Program Committee and other volunteer opportunities which have helped me feel that I'm helping to cure the disease and educate people about the stigma associated with having bipolar disease. I'm especially proud of my work with the Girl Scouts to earn our Mental Health Awareness Patch.

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1 Debra45

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It amazes me that the internet has so completely changed the atmosphere of being able to be open about mental health issues. I have been a frequent communicator on the International Bipolar Foundation site and it has been good to be open about my personal struggle with depressions. At one time I did not feel comfortable sharing about this issue, but everything has changed. I do know that my instructors at Drake University knew, during my graduate work, but the ADA is a support for those with disabilities both in employment and in schooling. The problem I felt was that I was afraid that if I was honest about my mental health challenges that I would not be considered for employment in the social services positions I held for some twenty years. Despite these issues I held very responsible positions such as a Case Manager and House Parent for disabled vulnerable adults. It was my pleasure to work, in fact I was a "workaholic"! Now after a decade of disability my health has returned to me and I have "found my voice" as it were. I know that what I have to speak about or write about may be helpful for those who struggle with mental health issues. I have walked through that same valley. At times I did not even know if I could see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Now I have come out the other side! I want to let others know that there is the possibility for health. As a vocational rehab. counselor I cannot keep silent about these issues. Someone out there may be helped by what I have to share. Thank you for International Bipolar International because I could not continue to "hide in the closet" as it were, because in a counseling session with my wonderful counselor he asked me directly, "Well you are willing to write and study about FMS (fibromyalgia) why not your Bipolar issues as WELL?" It really made me think, and I decided that I could no longer deny this part of my past. I do mean PAST because I have been able to control my bodies' bent for the rollercoaster life of bipolar illness. I am not saying I am at a one hundred percent, but once I was only at 20%. Now I can do much of what I want to when I want to. I have so much joy about what has happened to me, health wise, that I want to "get up on my soap box" and tell the whole world. Well I know that the WWW reaches all around the world. Since this is an International organization, I say BRAVO for advocating for all of us with mental health challenges!! Thank you and I would submit this with all due respect, Debra J. Kelly Greene MS Edu (A vocational rehabilitation counselor that has walked in their shoes and now wants to dance in them!!) Thanks again, djkgc

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

After leaving the hospital when I had my last episode, I was desperate to learn more about my illness and find suppport. IBPF was an immense support and gave me hope & courage. The current research they provided about bipolar disorder from various sources was very informative & that was what I was most interested in. They also shared several articles on how to cope with the illness. I also applaud their efforts to help reduce the stigma about mental illness. I was very happy to find an organization solely dedicated to bipolar disorder. I strongly believe that organizations such as the International Bipolar Foundation (IBFP) are GREATLY needed in this time and age considering there is still such a huge amount of stigma surrounding mental illness and it is still such a taboo topic in many societies around the world.

1 Mruthyunjaya Sastry G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

i have been following IBPF postings since the last two year. the communications are very helpful. as a BP person- i have been immensely getting benefitted from the research, communications and other efforts of IBPF. their emails also contain lot of information and knowledge on the subject. IBPF should play greater role in international arena.

thanks

G M Sastry
India

1 Davina M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The International Bipolar Foundation helped encourage and educate me. I really appreciate the information they have provided. I want everyone to know about this foundation so that more people can be helped.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The International Bipolar Foundation has been a huge support for our whole family. Especially for my daughter who was diagnosed in grade school. It has been a tough road for her.
They are making great strides in erasing the stigma through their education, free lectures and services.
I am honored to be part of this group. Together we can make a difference!

Chrisi H.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Experiencing a fairly new diagnosis of a family member with BP is overwhelming and would be even more so if I had to do the research about the illness on my own. It is comforting to know that I can go to IBPF
website and find current information around the globe regarding ongoing research, medications, personal
memoirs, books, lectures, etc. The few lectures and webinars I have participated in have been invaluable. More than anything, it has been re-assuring and less isolating to read that others share similar challenges and concerns regarding their loved ones illness. LBB

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a couple of years ago. The international bipolar foundation has helped me a lot in learning more about my disorder and how to manage it. They have this amazing handbook that is incredibly useful to me and my family in understanding this disorder. Their web seminars have also been incredibly useful. I feel supported because of them.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have seen International Bipolar Foundation make a difference in many lives not just locally, but globally. They provide support for the consumers and caregivers, the general public, etc. The group is compassionate and driven, which allows them to make a difference! I have seen first hand, how successful they have become since their existence. One of their programs is a High School Essay Contest that they have had the past two years, where high school students submit an essay on what stigma will be like in 2020. This program allows all the students to research and educate themselves. They received essays from all around the world and it is so interesting to see how far they are reaching people!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a caretaker of a family member with Bi-polar disease, this organization has easied my burden by sharing insights, from medical studies to clients sharing their story. They have given me hope and helped me to understand and know how to approach living. It has been part of helping me find the way to help my family member to come to terms with the disease and know that you can go on and live a productive life plus at the same time advocate for a better public understanding of mental health disease.

1 Ellen F.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I feel honored to be a part of such an incredible organization. I believe strongly in IBPF's dedication to its mission which is to eliminate Bipolar Disorder through the advancement of research; to promote and enhance care and support services; and to erase associated stigma through public education. Their tireless work to achieve so many such important goals make a difference in the quality of life for all those affected by bipolar disorder.

1 Kimberley P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

This organization has great vision and is truly here to serve those in need. I have a friend with bi-polar disorder, it has been a long 30+ years that we have fought this together. I have seen how it has changed her life, and mine. Because this disorder runs in her family, her mother, brother, many of her cousins, aunts and uncles have it as well. The loss of family members due to suicide during a "down" time is far more than any other family I know. We have had many talks on the phone during these down times for her, when all I could do was pray that when I woke in the morning, she would still be alive.
This being said, she is a successful business woman. She volunteers many hours every year to many different causes. By looking at her, talking with her, you would never know about the darkness that lurks within her. She is kind, great with kids and animals, very moral and generally happy.
It has been difficult for her to make long term friends, have a boyfriend and sometimes in the work place. There is indeed a horrible stigma associated with bi-polar disorder, and most people don't want to learn about it, they just walk away from it. It is just as serious as cancer, but people rally around those who are suffering; while those with mental illness such as this, often sit alone; afraid to talk about it for fear of being judged or ostracized.
This foundation's goal to educate, eradicate and comfort is a dream come true for people like me (who has a dear friend who suffers) and my friend and her family.
Thank you, International Bi-Polar Foundation for taking on the masses and offering a hand to those in need of it! We all applaud you and all you serve! I pray for your continued success!

Advisor

Rating: 5

I like the genuine way the staff and board members truly believe in the Foundations mission. I enjoy the informative Lecture Series that meet the needs of the community and the global impact the Foundation is making by building relationships with other Bipolar organizations around the world.