Dr. Erin Michalak is the team leader of CREST.BD (http://www.crestbd.ca) a team that encompasses researchers, clinicians and community members with a special interest in developing knowledge on BD. The international team includes representatives from a variety of health disciplines, including psychology, psychiatry, occupational therapy, nursing, genetic counseling, and mental health advocacy. One example of Dr. Michalak’s program of research is her recently funded Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Knowledge-to-Action (KTA) grant.
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As some of you may know, my 21 year old bipolar son was incarcerated last March during a manic episode where he did something that was, in his words “very stupid.” He was in the midst of denying his illness and he was running with the wrong crowd, and self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. I do not excuse his actions, nor does he. Thankfully, he is now facing his illness head on and, though he is in prison, he is in a better place psychologically and emotionally than he has been since his illness presented itself three years ago.
My daughter is 11 yrs old. We’ll call her Bug. Bug was diagnosed bipolar when she was 7. It has been a long, difficult road of ups and downs since then. We went through three schools before anyone would listen to me enough to give her an I.E.P. Finally at the end of her 3rd grade year (and after a hospital stay for a suicide attempt while at school – the 2nd one) the third school evaluated her and decided she “qualified”. Last year, around the end of November, (while in 5th grade) she started having hallucinations again, auditory and visual.
Congressman Patrick kennedy served 16 years in the U.S. Houes of Representatives and is predominantly known as the author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008. This dramatic piece of legislation provides tens of millions of Americans who were previously denied care with access to mental health treatment. Now, Congressman Kennedy is the co-founder of the One Mind for Research campaign, the next step in the effort to bring together scientists working in variohs domains of brain research toward a common goal.