Big news Network faithful! The International Bipolar Foundation is once again holding their worldwide essay contest for high school and middle school students.
About 60 million people worldwide have a brain disorder known as bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness. Chances are someone you know has this mental illness or cares for someone who does. Learning about bipolar disorder can help you understand the impact this disease has on those affected by it so you can respond to them with care and sensitivity.
Just as it’s likely that you know someone affected by bipolar disorder, it’s also likely that you’ve heard misinformation about this brain disorder. That inaccurate information can wind up stigmatizing those who have the disease.
One way to stamp out the stigma is by learning the facts and sharing them with others. To help middle school and high school students do that, the International Bipolar Foundation sponsors an annual contest that encourages students from around the world to write essays that educate others about bipolar disorder.
Students write a 500 word essay on one of the following topics:
Research to identify a famous person in history who had bipolar disorder. How was this person’s life impacted by the diagnosis? How was he or she able to move beyond the label of “bipolar” to live a life of purpose and accomplishment? What lessons might this person’s life have for those challenged by bipolar disorder today?
What misconceptions have you heard (or even had yourself) about bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses? What can be done to change these misconceptions and stamp out the stigma associated with mental illness?
How does the media portray bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses, and what impact does this portrayal have on people’s perceptions?