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Say It Forward

Sunday, October 13, 2019 - 00:00 to Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 00:00

Silence prevents people from seeking treatment and support. Help us #SayItForward to educate and inspire others to learn the facts and talk and share about mental illness.

How to Participate: 


#SayItForward 2019 takes place at the conclusion of Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 6-12). Use your knowledge and #SayItForward so that others can learn more about mental health, mental illness, and why support and education are so important in eradicating stigma.

Seek treatment

You are on the right track by asking us for help and you should know that you are not alone. Over 60 million people in the world have bipolar disorder and 1 in 4 people have some type of mental illness.

Read the list of the symptoms of bipolar disorder here; if many of these symptoms seem familiar to you, you should meet with a doctor to discuss it with them. A diagnosis is the first step to learning more about what you have and how to treat it. Make notes of any symptoms you experience, how often and how long, and anything that was going on at the time that might have triggered them. Use this Mood Disorder Questionnaire as a starting point. *Only a professional can diagnose you

Depending on what is easier for you and how your insurance works, you can either start with your primary doctor and ask for a referral, or you can start with a psychiatrist or therapist. This article has tips for finding a good therapist/psychiatrist and questions to ask at the first appointment to see if they are a good fit for you. You can also try going to a support group. Some people prefer to start with this because it’s free and low pressure. They are usually held on a weekly or monthly basis and you can walk in and don’t need to make an appointment. It’s comforting to meet people who are going through the same thing as you and you can learn a lot by asking questions about what has and hasn’t worked for them. If you are interested in finding a support group, treatment center, psychiatrist, or therapist in your area, this tool is useful in locating clinicians and services based on your individual needs.

Bipolar Disorder varies from person to person, and so does the right treatment plan. Most people use a combination of medication and therapy. Not everyone who has bipolar takes medication, but many people do take medication and find it very helpful.

For those who take medication, it can take some time to find the right combination that works best. Read more about this here.

You can learn more about different treatment options on our website or in our free book, Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder.

Build a healthy support system

Support systems can come in many forms: clinicians, family, friends, members of a support group, online communities, pets, and more. Learning about mental health and mental illness is crucial in maintaining mental wellness while also providing support for others. Check out some of these webinars to learn more about healthy communication in supportive relationships:

Bipolar Disorder and Families

Stigma, Mental Illness, and Families

Words To Say And Things To Do: Tips For The Families Of Those Who Have Bipolar Disorder

Married with Bipolar- How We Make It Work

Join the conversation on social media and tell us what your support system looks like!

Make healthy choices

Register for our upcoming webinar:

Get a copy of our free book, Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder

Check out our Psych Byte, "Practicing Mental Illness- A Guide to Meditation".

Learn about the importance of sleep and how our circadian rhythm impacts our mood by watching our webinar, "Circadian Rhythms and Mood Control".

Support free education

Your generosity and support helps us spread awareness and education about bipolar disorder. You can continue to join us in our mission by:

Donating via Paypal or Credit/Debit card.

Shopping on Amazon Smile. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases to IBPF!

Join Ralph's Community Rewards program and choose to support International Bipolar Foundation. Community Rewards is an easy way to make an impact on the mental illness community! The more you shop, the more money IBPF will earn.

eBay for Charity has partnered with the PayPal Giving Fund to make it easy for sellers to donate 10% to 100% (or as low as 1% for eBay Motors vehicles) of your item's final sale price to a certified charity. Choose IBPF as your charity and make an impact!

Create a fundraiser on CrowdFund or Facebook fundraisers!

#SayItForward: Spread the word and share your own story

Write a blog! Click here to read our submission guidelines and sign our publication agreement (submit to

Submit a Story of Hope and Recovery! Fill out one of the prompts listed below for us to make into a featured Story of Hope and Recovery. Click here to sign our publication agreement (submit to

For lived experience:

Your photo:
Describe something you are proud of in your journey in managing mental illness (could be a moment, an overall victory, etc.):
Advice for the newly diagnosed:
How IBPF has supported you OR why our free education for caregivers is important:

For caregivers:

Your Photo:
Caring for someone diagnosed with:
Describe healthy self-care practices you use to care for your own mental health:
Advice for new caregivers:
How IBPF has supported you OR why our free educational programs important for caregivers:

For clinicians:

Your Photo:
Years practicing:
Describe one way you feel that treatment for mental illness has improved:
Advice for families new to a mental illness diagnosis:
How has IBPF supported you in your practice OR why are free educational programs important for patient treatment: