Wednesday, March 30, 2016 is the 3rd annual World Bipolar Day. World Bipolar Day is celebrated annually on March 30, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who is believed to have had bipolar disorder.
Why Do We Celebrate World Bipolar Day?
World Bipolar Day is a day to remember that those who live with bipolar disorder are capable of achieving great things and to remind them that they are not alone. It is a day for the general public to learn more about the disorder from people who live it, and to learn the importance of fighting the stigma, stereotypes and misconceptions associated with bipolar disorder.
While in some parts of the world, there is growing acceptance of bipolar disorder as a medical condition, like diabetes and heart disease, the unfortunate reality is that stigma still remains as a barrier to care and treatment and continues to impede early diagnosis and effective treatment.
Why Is World Bipolar Day Important?
World Bipolar Day is about increasing awareness, reducing stigma and helping to educate the public and change attitudes about bipolar disorder.
Consider the statistics:
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), access to health care and social services capable of providing treatment and social support for mental illnesses is key.
- According to WHO, mental disorders affect 1 in 4 people.
- About 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6 percent of the population, age 18 and older in any given year, have bipolar disorder.
- Bipolar disorder affects 60 million people worldwide.
How Did World Bipolar Start and Who Is Involved?
The first World Bipolar Day took place on March 30, 2014, when the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD), the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) came together to address the disparity in how bipolar disorder is viewed in different parts of the world.
Through international collaboration, the goal of World Bipolar Day is to bring the world population information about bipolar disorders that will educate and improve sensitivity towards the illness.
What Is The Theme Of World Bipolar Day 2016?
This year, the chosen theme of World Bipolar Day is “More Than A Diagnosis”.
It is important to remember that just because someone has a diagnosis, whether it is a physical illness or a mental illness, it does not define him or her, and that is the message that the public should take away.
Why was this theme chosen? Individuals who live with bipolar disorder ARE more than a diagnosis and ARE capable of living successful, fulfilling lives despite and in spite of their diagnosis. IBPF wants to encourage people who live with bipolar disorder to remember all that they are capable of accomplishing and to remind them that there is a very supportive community out there for them to reach out to.
How Can You Participate?
Participating in World Bipolar Day is easy! Take advantage of your social media accounts and tweet, share on Facebook, Instagram and hashtag away! Share your messages of hope! Join our social media campaign to show the world that people living with bipolar disorder are More Than A Diagnosis.
Anyone is welcome to participate in World Bipolar Day 2016. There are many ways to participate, leading up to World Bipolar Day and on the day of, using social media.
IBPF is going to be using two hashtags across its social media platforms leading up to World Bipolar Day and on the day of, #WorldBipolarDay and #MoreThanADiagnosis. The goal is to have both hashtags trending worldwide on March 30, 2016!
Submit a Picture or Video:
Before March 15, 2016, use the World Bipolar Day 2016 Submission Form to submit a picture or video that will be posted to our social media accounts on March 30, 2016. For more details, please visit the submission form page at: http://ibpf.org/worldbipolarday. Your photographs and videos which will be featured on our social media pages on World Bipolar Day.
For photograph submissions, International Bipolar Foundation asks that you submit a photo with one of the following messages (you can hold a sign, add the text digitally or IBPF can add the text for you):
- Living with Bipolar Disorder: Describe what defines you besides having bipolar disorder, such as “I am a mother, athlete, and an attorney.” You can also include “and I have/live with bipolar disorder”
- Family and Friends: “I love/care for someone living with bipolar disorder” or “I support my (family member) who lives with bipolar disorder”
- General Public: “I support those living with bipolar disorder”
- Everyone submitting a photo- include your name (optional, but can be your first name, initials, or full name) and country
This year, IBPF is allowing encouraging video submissions for those wanting to participate, with the same message that would be included with a photo submission:
- Tell everyone what makes you more than your diagnosis in your video
- You can also add a brief description about how having bipolar disorder doesn’t hold you back from accomplishing your goals
- Caregivers and the general public can also submit videos about why they support those living with bipolar disorder
- For all submissions, please include a name and country
Please read all photo and video guidelines on the form submission page.
On March 30, 2016 all photos and videos that were submitted by the deadline of March 15, 2016 will be posted on our Facebook. If you want your submission to be posted on our Twitter, include your Twitter handle. Photos and Videos will be featured on our accounts all day.
Didn’t get your photo or video in on time? Don’t worry! You can post your photo or video with the hashtags #WorldBipolarDay and #MoreThanADiagnosis and use #WBDPic of #WBDVideo. Don’t forget to tag us on Facebook, Instagram and @mention us on Twitter (@Intlbipolar) so we can retweet you!
Spread the Word on Social Media:
Between now and March 30, 2016 you can help spread the word about World Bipolar Day on various social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram using our WBD graphics, articles, and pre-written messages (for Twitter and Facebook) found on our Shareable Resources Page. Keep checking back as new resources will be added.
Any Tweet, Facebook post or Instagram post with the designated World Bipolar Day hashtags will help spread the word. You can post an inspiration quote, picture, saying, or article and use the 2 hashtags, #WorldBipolarDay and #MoreThanADiagnosis to help spread the word. You can start now!
Participate in the World Bipolar Day Tweetchat:
International Bipolar Foundation will be hosting a World Bipolar Day themed Tweetchat at 12pm EST/9am PST, where the discussion will focus on “How Are You More Than Your Diagnosis?”
More information about the Tweetchat will be posted on the Shareable Resources Page.
Where can I find more information about Bipolar Disorder?
If you are a person who experiences bipolar disorder, you can visit http://ibpf.org/i-have-bipolar-disorder, and find information such as links to websites, blogs, YouTube videos, webinars and tools to provide you with helpful information.
If you care for someone with bipolar disorder, visit http://ibpf.org/i-care-someone-bipolar-disorder for similar types of resources.
Consumers and caregivers should also look at IBPF’s Healthy Living With Bipolar Disorder Book, as it provides helpful information for both consumers and caregivers: http://ibpf.org/webform/healthy-living-bipolar-disorder-book.
IBPF’s website also curates the most recent research articles relevant to bipolar disorder, which you can find here: http://ibpf.org/research-updates.