Bipolar Disorder Society of BC – 2016 Annual General Meeting

The Bipolar Disorder Society of BC Requests Your Support & RSVP Today to Confirm you will join us!

Please RSVP Today for our One-Hour Annual General Meeting!

Hi everyone, Andrea AKA Bipolar Babe here! I know it is summer and many of us are out enjoying the sun, but I was hoping you could spare one hour of your time to attend our brief Annual General Meeting. 🙂

We are required  to have an Annual General Meeting once a year with an adequate number of members to maintain our charitable status. We are requesting one-hour of your time and we will have many refreshments for you! We would love to share our very exciting developments with you and appreciate your support over the years!

Date: Monday August 15th @ 6:30pm, Doors open at 6pm

Location of AGM:
Camosun College, Lansdowne Campus,
Fisher Building, Room 100, Lecture Hall
3100 Foul Bay Road, Victoria BC

See you there an thank you for all that you do to support our impacting work in the community! 🙂

Bipolar Youth Action Project

Announcing the 2nd and Final Bipolar Youth Action Project FORUM


The 2nd and Final Forum will be held on November 15th, 2015. It’s about YOUTH and their expertise.

To be eligible you must be 16-25 years old, with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder (Type I, II, or not otherwise specified).

Forum 1 was dedicated to the exploration of strategies that youth use to stay well. Forum 2, on November 15, 2015, will focus on how to communicate these valuable findings with the community. The structure of Forum 2 is created by the BYAP Youth Leads and Members!

REGISTRATION: FREE. Lunch is included.To thank you for your time, you will receive $30.

The event will be taking place at the Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad Street, Victoria, BC., at 11:30am.

Live outside Greater Victoria? Travel & Accommodation bursaries are available, but space is limited! Contact us for info.

To Register: E-mail [email protected] | or call Nusha, the CREST.BD Research Coordinator, at 604-822-7247

Note to Media: Media interested in interviewing Andrea Paquette are asked to contact her at by e-mail at [email protected].

Visit: and for more information.

Join us at Movie Monday – August 11 w Andrea Paquette and Erin Michalak – Hosted by Bruce Saunders

Movie Monday – August 11, 6:30 pm Eric Martin Pavilion JOIN US at Movie Monday!
“The great thing about ‘Of Two Minds’, a documentary on bipolar disorder, is that it doesn't dwell on the clinical or pharmaceutical. We hear from the experts, and we learn about medications and health insurance nightmares. But this is a film about people, brave souls willing to reveal personal stories of the torment raging inside their brains. 
Writer-directors Doug Blush and Lisa Klein (whose late sister suffered from bipolar disorder), took great pains and untold hours documenting a wide range of folks who share their histories and emotions through interviews, videos, artwork and journals” We also see the rich, creative lives many on the bipolar spectrum live.
This documentary is a fantastic starting point for discussion with the Co-Leads on an exciting new collaborative project with youth who live with bipolar disorder: The Bipolar Youth Action Project! 
Dr. Erin Michalak of the UBC Dept. of Psychiatry and Andrea Paquette, the renowned Bipolar Babe and Executive Director of the Bipolar Disorders Society of BC, will join us for a lively conversation about mental health, to share information about the Bipolar Youth Action Project and how you can get involved, and, especially, to answer your questions. 
Learn more before you join us!                                                                                       
Visit online: 
•  CREST BD                     
•  Bipolar Babe  http://                          
•  Mood Disorders Association of BC

Hiring For the Bipolar Youth Action Project – Peer Researchers

We are seeking creative, curious youth,

19 to 25, who live with bipolar disorder, for

The Bipolar Youth Action Project!

Excited about this project?

Apply if you are:

an English speaker between 19 and 25

-with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder

willing to commit to a 2 year project

a resident of Victoria OR Comox/Courtenay/Campbell River

an English speaker between 19 and 25 

Visit us online at or for full project and application details, then submit your application to Andrea Paquette, Co-Lead Researcher, at

Find us here for more information and full application at

We look forward to hearing from you

BDSBC Annual General Meeting – July 21 6-7pm


Notice of Annual General Meeting

Monday July 21, 2014, 6:00 p.m.

Camosun College, Lansdowne Campus,

Fisher Building, Room 100, Lecture Hall

3100 Foul Bay Road, Victoria BC


Members and Friends of the Bipolar Disorder Society are asked to attend this important and brief one hour meeting, to set future direction to stomp out the stigma of mental illness.

Agenda to Include:

  • City Councilor Lisa Helps –  Guest Speaker
  • Promotional Video Presentation
  • Chair of the Board of Directors’ Report
  • Executive Director’s Report
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Board of Directors Confirmation
  • Ratification of Board of Directors Actions To Date
  • Other Business & Open Floor Discussion

Snacks, coffee and juice will be provided complimentary.

MAP: Refer to #8, Fisher Building –

Please feel free to pass this information to anyone you think may be genuinely interested.                                                                               

Thank you,

Kindest Regards,

The Bipolar Babe Team


Clara's Big Ride

Welcome to the Clara's Big Ride Events Page!

On March 14, 2014, Bell Let’s Talk is going even further. Now in its fourth year, they are taking the conversation around the country, transforming it into an event where Clara Hughes (six time Olympic medalist) will be riding 12,000 km, 110 days, 95 community stops.  Clara’s Big Ride kicks off in Toronto on March 14, 2014, Clara will eventually journey to Vancouver Island heading to Victoria on Thursday, May 15, 2013.  

The Bipolar Disorder Society of BC will be hosting two events for Clara in May both on May 15th. 


The first event is at 2:00 pm till 3:00 pm at the Legislature on Belleville Street in downtown Victoria.  We plan to have a gathering of over 100 people at the legislature with the Lieutenant Governor performing a ribbon cutting event that will invite Clara into the city.  She will be arriving from the airport via bike and we have invited the media, public, politicians, youth and YOU to welcome Clara into our beautiful city.

Our second event is our fundraiser called the ‘Hats off to Clara Hughes’ Celebration Event from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm.  It is a hat themed party and will be a wine tasting event with small bites.  The venue is Victoria’s Public Market at 1701 Douglas Street in the Hudson Building.  We will have 200 attendees from our amazing and supportive Victoria community.  Tickets will be made at stores soon and via online at Bipolar Babe as of March 15, 2014.  We have Bell Media behind us and know that we will have excellent coverage of the event, so if you want to showcase your business for the live auction floor please contact us. 

The Bipolar Babe Team is excited to be hosting Clara for these two events and we know that with your support, we will be able to show our wonderful hospitality and support for mental health awareness in Victoria.

For more information on Clara's Big Ride click here

Check back frequently for updates as tickets will be made available soon via   


Warm Regards!

The Clara Hughes Big Ride Event Team 

Come Join our Bell Let's Talk – Twitter Heroes Team!

Bell Let’s Talk Twitter Heroes

Thanks for reading and welcome!  

I hope you will consider becoming a Bell Let’s Talk Twitter Hero for the month of January 2014! Healthy Minds Canada is leading a Bell Let's Talk campaign!  What does this entail?  It is actually very impactful and means making a huge difference in the lives of countless people with mental illness in Canada. 

Have you heard of Bell Let’s Talk Day?  It is on January 28, 2014 and Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives for every:

  • Text message sent* on the Bell network
  • Long-distance call made* on the Bell network
  • Facebook share of our Bell Let’s Talk image
  • Most importantly for our purpose: Tweet using #BellLetsTalk AND @Healthy_minds in the same tweet

Please click here for more information on the day:

How can you help?  The Bipolar Babe is looking for tweeters who want to be part of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign!  Your contribution to this cause would be wonderful and so deeply appreciated and we cannot do it without you.



*Pick 2 reliable friends (or more) to commit to the tasks below and do the following yourself leading up to the day to get the HYPE going and definitely on the DAY OF JANUARY 28th


*ADD Healthy Minds Canada on Twitter RIGHT NOW

 ADD @Healthy_Minds and retweet their tweets with #BellLetsTalk leading up to and on Jan. 28 about this campaign and Like them on Facebook  and repost their Facebook posts. 

* Feel free to compose your own tweets or simply retweet Bipolar Babe’s tweets with #BellLetsTalk and @Healthy_Minds composed in the tweet leading up to the campaign and on the day of Jan. 28th, 2014 re: Bell Let’s Talk and ADD me Andrea Paquette on Facebook and repost my Facebook posts.

*Remember to check in and ensure your 2 reliable friends (or more depending on how ambitious you want to be) on twitter are tweeting #BellLetsTalk and re-tweeting your tweets leading up to and on the day of the campaign.


BUT you already knew that! lol  😉

Want to make a BIGGER impact?  Become a CHAMPION and head up your own Bell Let's Talk Twitter Hero Campaign! 

Thank you for your consideration and hope to hear from you soon!

Please notify me ASAP via Twitter via @Bipolar_babe, on my Facebook or by e-mail at [email protected] and let me know if you are part of the team for this exciting campaign!  We are recruiting twitter Bell Let’s Talk heroes now and we would love to have you  on board!


Andrea AKA Bipolar Babe & the Babe Team

Vancouver Foundation Gives Major Grant to BDSBC and CREST BD for the 'Bipolar Youth Action Project'

BDSBC is thrilled to share great news just in time for the holidays! Team member at CREST BD, Dr. Erin Michalak, in partnership with Andrea Paquette, Executive Director of the Bipolar Disorder Society of British Columbia (BDSBC), has received funding from the Vancouver Foundation’s Health and Medical Education/Research Grants for a study entitled, The Bipolar Youth Action Project’. This is a two-year community action project designed to build knowledge about how youth living with bipolar disorder live well with the condition, and at the same time build capacity for youth to engage in participatory mental health research. The project was catalysted by the dissatisfaction voiced by youth living with the condition in BC. Youth living with bipolar disorder, in two Vancouver Island communities, will be integral to every stage of the research. To date, the team has consulted with youth to develop research methods, and has established a preliminary ‘Youth Action Group’. Knowledge gained from this project will inform the development of appropriate resources to support youth self-management, leading to enhanced capacity for self-care in this vulnerable community.

This is an exciting step for us at multiple levels. Firstly, the knowledge the project will produce will fill an important gap in the bipolar disorders scientific literature. Secondly, it will allow CREST.BD and the BDSBC to fully articulate their fledgling collaboration and unite to fill the knowledge gap around effective wellness strategies for youth with bipolar disorders. Thirdly, it will support the development of new relationships (between clinicians, community groups and community activists alike) within the mental health community on Vancouver Island. Most exciting of all, however, is the potential for the study to produce real-world findings on effective wellness strategies for youth facing mental health challenges.

Study co-applicants include, Drs. Joanna Cheek, CREST.BD researcher and Co-Lead of Mood and Anxiety Program at the University of Victoria, and Wei-Yi Song, Director of the Mood Disorders Services for the Vancouver Island Health Authority, South Island. This funding would not be possible without support from the Mood Disorders Association of BC, The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, along with numerous youth, peer support workers, community advocates and researchers on Vancouver Island.

Our vision is to bring youth with bipolar disorder together and provide several venues for youth to collaborate, connect, and perform research to share their knowledge on personal wellness with the guidance of BDSBC and CREST.BD. We’re ready to ‘hit the ground running’ and leave a legacy of sustainable community change.

The Bipolar Youth Action Project – Summary of Findings

The  Bipolar Youth  Action Project –  Beginning the Conversation  

The Bipolar Disorder Society of BC and CREST.BD are currently writing a grant proposal for the Vancouver Foundation to conduct a study called the Bipolar Youth Action Project (BYAP).  It is an innovative, youth-focused and youth-led project that will train and challenge young adults aged 16 to 22 to perform research into how to live well with bipolar disorder. 

Andrea Paquette and Erin Michalak met with five youth (four young women and one young man) who live with bipolar disorder for an initial conversation to collect insights and help design the research, sparking conversation on topics ranging from wellness strategies to how to get the message out that youth ought to be talking about their mental health.  The session lasted over an hour and it was evident that excitement and passion carried the conversation.

Youth Wellness Strategies

The youth shared numerous and diverse strategies that contributed positively to their wellness.  For example:

  • They agreed that exercise is at the forefront for staying well.  Whether it is strenuous or a simple walk around the block, the youth all identified that physical activity helps them with their wellness. 
  • Lara stressed that a creative outlet helps her feel at ease during times of stress. Painting is her preferred method of staying well. 
  • Playing music and “doing something exciting” proved to be creative outlets for Shannon. 
  • Samuel viewed the following up with his medical professionals as important and said that he does his best to surround himself with positive, non-triggering people. This helps him ensure that he has the support he requires. 
  • The group discussed the importance of sobriety and of simply avoiding drugs and alcohol. 
  • Christine felt that her vital coping strategies were staying in the moment and neither worrying about the future nor dwelling in the past.  Having fun, creating balance and having a full work and volunteer schedule has proven to be successful in helping her stay healthy and productive. 
  • Lastly, the youth agreed that a good night’s sleep and a solid routine around sleep helped them to stay well.

Strategies Particularly Useful for  Youth

Most of the youth felt that a number of their personal wellness strategies might also be useful for adults living with bipolar disorder; however, they recognized that their parents played a major role in their wellness.  Many of the youth, feeling that older generations often have inaccurate understandings of mental health, mentioned that they had taken a proactive role in educating their parents.  The relationship and role of a parent changes drastically as one matures, and for younger generations the impact is often significant; for example,  Lara identified her father as a strong supporter and their positive relationship as an integral component to her wellness. Many of the youth also agreed that extra stressors from parents can play a negative role in a youth’s recovery, especially for those who have experienced a hospitalization or breakdown. 

The group pointed out that young people and adults can have very different lifestyles; however, several of them believed that, although it is attractive for them to ‘live in the moment’, a certain amount of planning must take place as one transitions from youth to adulthood.  Wellness strategies for an individual navigating this transition were identified by the group as distinct from wellness strategies employed by someone who had fully matured.

Information Sharing with Other Youth

An array of avenues for sharing information were identified by the group. For example:   

  • Many of the youth identified tools such as PowerPoint, used in a school assembly presentation on mental health, as an effective option.
  • Conversation ignited creativity and Shannon and Marissa saw great opportunity in using social media as a vehicle to expression.  Facebook is a popular and creative way to reach the masses, as are blogs and YouTube.
  • Regardless of how information is shared it was thought important to keep it real and authentic. One idea was to follow a ‘day in the life of’ a real youth living well with bipolar disorder to demonstrate their coping strategies. 
  • Christine expressed that the key is to make it interactive and to remove stigmatized words that hurt youth, creating conversations free of stigma.
  • The group expressed that there is a need to get the right information out, but also to include personal narratives.

It was thought that the best approach would be to identify the core wellness strategies, then to creatively share them via diverse channels, with an overarching goal of creating a network of general BD information made authentic with real-life examples and stories.  The youth believe that sharing information with other youth as opposed to having adults share the information was key.  The youth identified that they are at a specific point in their lives where they can relate to and communicate with each other better than with adults.  Therefore, the majority of the group felt that it was important to focus primarily on youth, rather than extending the focus of the project to parents.  The group agreed that youth themselves have the greatest need for this type of research, and that it is amongst youth where the research findings would have the most potential for impact. The research findings will likely end up being shared with parents, but the youth agreed that it’s important that the project stays focused. 

What’s in it for Youth?

Many of the youth saw themselves as agents of change in society, making a difference with their attitudes and actions.  Looking ahead, the youth in this group want to work as agents of change by being active in their community, educating others and sharing the details of their lives.  Lara seeks to progress and help others be well. Others stated that ongoing learning about their own illness helps them be more comfortable with the disorder: this project would help them develop the skills that they need to carry out these desires.  Shannon is thrilled to explore public speaking, boost her confidence, learn from the public, and help people who are self-stigmatized.  All the members of the group envision this project as an opportunity to work in a research environment to reach towards tangible solutions to real-world problems.

The youth realize that there may be repercussions to their work. They identified that putting themselves ‘out there’ may make them vulnerable and may be triggering for others.  The amount of work may be stressful but the youth stated that having the project span a two year period is comforting, as is the prospect of having mentorship from experienced researchers. The group specified that a set of safe guidelines is a positive avenue to averting unnecessary complications or concerns.

According to all the youth involved, it was a fantastic idea to perform this consultation early in the process of developing the research, giving them the opportunity to shape it right from the start. They also stated that were keen to be involved with  a project where they will unite youth with bipolar disorder  to make a positive, long lasting and significant impact.

Photos approved by Pilot Participants

The real names of the participants were not used in this summary.

Join us for STIGMA STOMP DAY – Friday, June 14 from 12-3pm


We are pleased to invite you to our 2nd Annual charity awareness event Stigma Stomp Day hosted by the Bipolar Disorder Society of BC, Bipolar Babe Project.

The event consists of hosting Victoria’s community in Centennial Square, downtown Victoria on Friday June 14, 2013 from 12-3pm.

The event celebrates a day free of stigma.  Stigma consists of false stereotypes that perpetuate unwarranted fears and discrimination amongst society.  Labels such as homeless, addicted, mentally ill, among many others.  The day will host inspirational speakers such as Jamie, a 17 year old girl that lives with bipolar disorder.  We will also be hosting 20 community partner information booths.  An important component of the day is providing the community with 200 Stigma Stomp t-shirts, which symbolizes unity and acceptance of all people despite the effect that  stigma has on all.  We are all equal and we are all amazing!

Truck food vendors will be on-site and we are anticipating great media attention at the event.  We have a secret celebrity MC and will have KOOL FM on site with water bottles.

T-shirt sponsors so far include: Wynona Wensley from Be Free Health, Certified Rolfer  &  Source Point Therapy.  Kirby's Source for Sports and Saunders Subaru have also jumped on board for sponsorship!  

Rolfing Structural Intergration available for $2 a minute with all proceeds going to the Bipolar Disorder Society of BC. 🙂

Face painting provided by Amy Louise for $5 a face – a portion of the proceeds go to the Bipolar Disorder Society of BC.

The day is going to be amazing and we want you to be part of it!  Visit our Facebook Page to let us know you are coming!   


Simply click the PayPal button below to make your payment, and leave a comment on your order stating which organization you are paying for.


The Bipolar Babe Team