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2017 High School Essay Contest

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. 


  • Open to all high school age youth (13-19)
  • Entries must be original work
  • Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges
  • Essays will become property of International Bipolar Foundation and will not be returned
  • Contestant agrees to allow International Bipolar Foundation to publicize essay
  • Prizes - 1st Place: $1,000 | 2nd Place: $500 | 3rd Place: $250


Are people who live with bipolar disorder stigmatized in your community?

Community can be defined as country, city, neighborhood, school, etc… Include your definition of community in your essay.  

These are some examples of how you can address this topic:

  • What do you think causes stigma, and what are the best ways to fight it? Give some examples from your community. 
  • Is stigma for bipolar disorder different than other mental illnesses? 
  • Describe your personal experience with stigma.

Recommended: Read our Fact Sheet to learn more about stigma as helpful background information for your essay. 


  • Must be written in English
  • Times New Roman, 12 point font
  • Double spaced
  • 500-1000 words
  • Submit as a Word Document if possible
  • Submit using this form
  • Deadline - TBD Summer 2017 (Winter 2017 - Southern Hemisphere).

Contact Information

For questions contact Melissa Leigh at

  • Email: 
  • Phone: 858-598-5967
  • Fax: (858) 598-5158
  • Mailing Address: 8755 Aero Dr, #310, San Diego, CA 92123

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