Our mission is to improve understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder through research; to promote care and support resources for individuals and caregivers; and to erase stigma through education.
International Bipolar Foundation envisions wellness, dignity and respect for people living with bipolar disorder.
A Little About International Bipolar Foundation
By Heather Zupin
International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) was founded in 2007 by four mothers of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Their desire to ensure a better future for their children and others affected by this illness resulted in an organization with the mission to:
- Improve understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder through research;
- Promote care and support resources for individuals and caregivers; and
- Erase stigma through education.
Treatment for bipolar disorder involves a combination of medication, therapy, and self-education. We help with the self-education component. We provide resources for people to learn more about bipolar disorder so than can become more self-aware and learn tools to manage their symptoms. We also help caregivers learn more about bipolar so they can understand what their loved one is going through.
We have three staff members and over two hundred volunteers, so our volunteers are really the soul of the organization. One of our volunteer programs is our blog. We have about forty bloggers from a range of backgrounds. We try to cover every topic that might come up for someone with bipolar disorder. Some examples are college, pregnancy, and addiction. There are also tips and coping tools for specific symptoms of bipolar disorder. The blogs are a source of advice and support for people struggling with similar issues.
Another educational program we offer is our book: Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder. The book is an overview of all of the aspects of living with bipolar disorder and includes chapters on medication, nutrition, natural treatments, travel, and much more. It is a useful starting point to learn the basics about bipolar disorder. It is recommended for those living with bipolar disorder and their caregivers. PDFs of the book are available for free here.
A Little Bit More About IBF
By Nicole Lyons
I am one of IBF’s forty bloggers that Heather mentioned above, and I am so proud to tell you all that IBF was just chosen as one of Healthline’s Best Bipolar Health Blogs of The Year!
The IBPF blog has a stockpile of useful information, both for people new to bipolar as well as those years into a diagnosis. With an army of contributing writers, the blog is updated several times a week with personal stories of people dealing with mood swings, self-worth questions, and varying viewpoints on how to organize life with bipolar disorder. The posts are well sorted by topic, including mania, medication, depression, and others, so finding what you’re looking for is merely a click away.
IBF has so many incredible resources that are absolutely invaluable, and they are designed to help everyone, not just those specifically living with bipolar disorder. IBF has made it their mission to educate as many people as they can, and they are doing it. IBF does so much but there is one thing that I find remarkable, something that will help change the world.
IBF and The Girl Scouts, how amazing is that? Through IBF The Girl Scouts can now earn a Mental Health Awareness patch. They are working together to educate our youth on mental health, and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illness. The program is incredible and you can read about it, and apply for access to the activity packet with instructions on how to earn the patch here.
IBF also holds many free webinars throughout the year on a variety of different topics. They update their social media accounts regularly with the dates and times and how you can sign up. They also have an incredible Speakers Bureau Program that brings the passions and voices to mental health conversations surrounding stigma and discrimination. The topics are important, varied, and informational.
As Heather mentioned, the soul of IBF really is the volunteers, without them this amazing organization wouldn’t be able to do everything that it does. If you are looking for a way to give back, I think International Bipolar Foundation is a pretty awesome volunteer opportunity to consider. There is an online volunteer application that you can fill out here.
International Bipolar Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3, they require donations to continue to provide services to those in need. If you would like to donate to this amazing cause, your gift would be greatly appreciated, and you can do so by clicking here.
There is so much more to International Bipolar Foundation and I invite you to check out their website and meet the incredible Board of Directors, as well as sign up for the Support Newsletter. You can find IBF on Tumblr and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.