World Bipolar Day

Cover Letter

Bipolar Disorder (also called manic-depressive illness) is a mental illness affecting around 2% of the population worldwide, while up to 5% has bipolar traits.  It represents a significant challenge to patients, their family members, health care workers, and our communities. 

While growing acceptance of bipolar disorder as a medical condition, like diabetes and heart disease, has taken hold in some parts of the world, unfortunately the stigma associated with the illness is still a barrier to care and continues to impede recognition and effective treatment.  Despite the alarming number of people affected with a mental illness, statistics show that only one-third of these individuals seek treatment.  According to Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the NIMH (USA), psychiatry is the only part of medicine where there is actually greater stigma for receiving treatment for these illnesses than for having them. 

In order to address the disparity in how bipolar disorder is viewed in different parts of the world, theAsian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD), the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) came together to work on the concept of a world bipolar day.

Attached you will find a call to action which provides many examples of possible ways in which you can get involved. Ultimately, we hope to share these events with the global community via Facebook (www.facebook.com/worldbipolarday) and the ISBD website (www.isbd.org/advocacy-and-patient-resources/world-bipolar-day).  The WBD page will host press releases for events; provide a place to post photos, stories, and to share inspiration with others who share the vision of WBD. 

For more information about WBD, or for any questions, comments, or event announcements, please contact Jill Olds at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Press Release

[English] also available in Chinese [Taiwanese], Hindi [India], [Portuguese], [Spanish]

Call to action

[English]