World Bipolar Day is March 30 - Mark your calendars!

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Network faithful please take note of this announcement regarding World Bipolar Day from CMHNetwork Advisory Council member and founder of the International Bipolar Foundation, Muffy Walker. Thank you Muffy for all you and the IBPF do!

World Bipolar Day (WBD) will be celebrating its inaugural 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 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.  

Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness that represents a significant challenge to patients, health care workers, family members and our communities.  While growing acceptance of bipolar disorder as a medical condition, like diabetes and heart disease, has taken hold in some parts of the world, unfortunately the stigma associated with the illness is a barrier to care and continues to impede early diagnosis and effective treatment.  In order to address the disparity in how bipolar disorder is viewed in different parts of the world, the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD),the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) came together to work on the concept of a world bipolar day.

Willem Nolen, current President of the ISBD, shares his enthusiasm about this initiative.

Muffy Walker, Founder and President of IBPF, said the following when asked why she felt it important to be involved with WBD, 

Manuel Sanchez de Carmona, ISBD President-Elect, believes that,

It is estimated that the global prevalence of bipolar disorder is between 1 and 2% and has been said to be as high as 5% and, according to the World Health Organization, is the 6th leading cause of disability in the world.  In order to address this global problem, we need a global solution. With support from leading experts from around the world, groups like ANBD, IBPF, and ISBD are supporting efforts to investigate biological causes, targets for drug treatment, better treatments, better methods of diagnosis, the genetic components of the illness, and strategies for living well with bipolar disorder and this is just the beginning. Collaborations between research and advocacy groups are continuing to grow, and WBD is a tribute to the success of this strategy.

Christine Saenz, a patient and blogger, explains, 

As the day draws near we encourage you to organize and publicize local events, which can be shared with the world through distribution on the WBD Facebook page (www.facebook.com/worldbipolarday).  While a permanent home on the web has not yet been established, in the interim, ISBD will host your announcements on a special section of our website devoted to WBD. The WBD page will ultimately host press releases for these events, as well as provide a place to post photos, stories and share inspiration with others who share the vision of WBD.    

For more information about WBD, or for any questions, comments, or event announcements, please contact Jill Olds at jillo@isbd.org.

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MartinH's avatar

MartinH

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Thanks for the good work.

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