One of the most challenging times for people with bipolar disorder is when they're first diagnosed. The moment a doctor tells you that you have a mental illness can be one of the worst moments of your life. Fear, hopelessness and loneliness can be all you feel upon hearing the news that you have a lifelong, incurable disorder.
However, Healthline aims to help those recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder with their "You've Got This" campaign -- a public service campaign that uses user-submitted videos to support those recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Those with bipolar disorder are encouraged to upload their own videos in support of those just diagnosed.
"You've Got This" aims to do for people with bipolar disorder what "It Gets Better" has done for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. It aims to create community and provide advice and hope to those going through the difficult time of bipolar diagnosis.
"Treatment of bipolar disorder has come a long way," said Tracy Rosecrans, vice president of marketing for the Healthline Media Group. "This initiative will help to get the word out that people can lead productive, happy lives with treatment. Mental illness is stigmatized, and we hope the community that 'You've Got This' forms will help to alleviate some of the shame and fear that individuals and their family members feel, especially after a diagnosis."
And if helping support those with bipolar disorder isn't enough of a reason for you to get out your webcam, Healthline is also donating $10 for each video received to the charity To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit which aims to offer hope to those suffering from self-harm, suicidal urges, depression and addiction while directing people to treatment. According to Rosecrans, Healthline hopes to raise $10,000 for TWLOHA by the end of the year.
Bipolar disorder is the third condition being targeted by the "You've Got This" campaign by Healthline. According to Rosecrans, "The first 'You've Got This' program, focused on HIV, launched last year. It reached over 1 million people on Facebook alone, included several celebrity participants, and was featured in several leading HIV publications."
To become part of the campaign, just upload a positive video message about living with bipolar disorder, or a piece of advice to those newly-diagnosed, to YouTube and send Healthline the link (see "learn more" at the bottom of the page). They'll review it and add it to their list of videos online. And you don't have to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder to participate. Offering a message of support can be just as powerful.
What matters is that you speak from your heart to those with bipolar disorder and let them know that they've got this.