Approximately 60 million people worldwide have bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness. Learning about bipolar disorder can help students understand the impact this disease has on those affected by it. Just as it’s likely that you know someone affected by bipolar disorder, it’s also likely that you’ve heard misinformation about this brain disorder. That inaccurate information can wind up stigmatizing those who have the disease.
One way to stamp out the stigma is by learning the facts and sharing them with others. To help middle school and high school students do that, the International Bipolar Foundation sponsors an annual contest that encourages students from around the world to write essays that educate others about bipolar disorder. A student chooses a topic from the list of suggestions, researches it, and then writes an essay of 500 to 800 words. Essays are judged by a panel of mental health authors. The winner earns a cash prize of $500, with smaller cash prizes for second and third places.
Visit www.ibpf.org/annual-middle-school-and-high-school-essay-contest research, organize, and write essays. Students will find a wealth of online links and resources to help them learn the facts about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of bipolar disorder.
How do students enter?
Information about contest rules and guidelines is at www.ibpf.org/annual-middle-school-and-high-school-essay-contest. Essays must be submitted to the International Bipolar Foundation by May 1.
Bipolar disorder is a serious disease, but one that doesn’t have to remain a mystery to so many. By learning more about bipolar disorder and sharing that knowledge with others, a student can become an agent of change who helps to erase the stigma associated with mental illness. Powerful, indeed!
For more information on bipolar disorder, click here.
To enter the essay contest, please click here.