Breaking the stigma surrounding bipolar disorder

There are 2.3 million Americans who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. That is ~1% of the U.S. population. For years this group of people have been underrepresented and a stigma surrounding their mental illness still stands today. While mental health awareness has become a movement in the last several years, people still need to be educated on bipolar disorder and mental illness as a whole.
People Impacted
$ 1.6T
Potential Funding
I have this challenge
the problem
Nature and Context

1 in 5 Americans suffer from mental illnesses & ~1% of the population suffer from bipolar disorder. Mental illness, bipolar disorder to be exact, was not talked about much in the media for decades. In the last several years mental health awareness has become a movement, but we still have further to go with educating the general population on bipolar disorder & other mental illnesses. Representation of individuals with bipolar disorder needs to be seen more in social media, the news, books, and even classrooms. Why not educate youth on mental illnesses and mental health care? It is time to normalize mental health as a whole.

Symptoms and Causes

For decades bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses were not discussed in society. While more talk of mental illnesses is being discussed in society today, there is still a stigma surrounding mental health.


  • under-representation of individuals with mental illnesses

  • a society that has yet to normalize mental health


  • People with a mental illness may feel ostracized from society

  • The general public are misinformed or are not educated on mental illness and mental health as a whole

the impact
Negative Effects
  • U.S. citizens with a diagnosed mental illness are under-represented in society

  • People who suffer from a mental illness, anxiety, or depression feel less inclined to talk about their disorder and reach out for help

  • Society as a whole is not educated enough on mental illnesses

  • Lack of mental health awareness

Economic Impact
  • 238 billion expected in expenditure on mental health services in the U.S.

who benefits from solving this problem
Organization Types
  • Local, county, and state behavioral health programs

  • mental hospitals and out-patient programs

financial insights
Potential Solution Funding

Request for Proposals: Bipolar Disorder - More than 45 million people worldwide live with bipolar disorder (BD) and its devastating effects. The Baszucki Brain Research Fund, in collaboration with the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy, is inviting PhD and MD-level investigators leading research to advance treatments for people living with BD to apply for funding. Up to 10 research grants, each up to $200,000, will be awarded.

Ideas Description

As mental health awareness continues to grow in popularity, the educating of people, as well as talk of mental health, could help break the stigma around bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses as a whole.

  • Education of mental health wellness in schools

  • More representation of mental illness in social media

  • Education books on bipolar disorder & mental illness

    • Waiting for Daylight - A memoir that follows the personal battle of the author's disorder of Type I Bipolar Disorder invites the reader in to experience the struggle, the heartache, and the fight to keep going.

    • When Dawn Breaks - When Dawn Breaks is a self-help book full of raw emotion, inspiration, and a hopeful outlook for those struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other mental battle. The author takes the reader into her own personal experiences living with Type I Bi-Polar Disorder in order to relate with readers and their own experiences dealing with mental health issues.

  • Now And Me Discussion Forum: Now & Me is an online discussion community centered around the principle of catharsis. A person's online presence can weigh on their mental health, this platform aims to provide a place of healing and empathy rather than competition and insecurity.

  • Ginger Mental Health Support: Ginger utilizes historic health records, assesses current health parameters, and analyzes changes in behavior to offer support from professional coaches, licensed therapists, and psychiatrists via a smartphone application, enabling users to access high-quality coaches, clinicians, and contents and receive real-time feedback on mental health via telehealth.

  • 87% has used years of psychological expertise to build an innovative assessment platform that empowers its users to measure, understand and improve mental wellbeing. Measurable data gives businesses the insights they need to understand how they can best support their employees, and individual users receive personalized guidance on improving their wellbeing in a friendly and private environment.

  • Real Talk App Helps Show Teens They Are Not Alone: Real Talk crowdsources authentic teen stories on topics like puberty, bullying, and mental health. All stories are carefully screened and curated, and each is paired with a high quality online resource before being published to the app.

  • Increased representation of people with bipolar disorder and mental illnesses in the media

  • More funding for mental health support groups and non-profit organizations.

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