A Public Demonstration of Mental Health Recovery on World Bipolar Day

​On this World Bipolar Day, social worker Keith Mahar has committed to using his lived experience of bipolar disorder in conjunction with his campaign for an investigation into a billion-dollar company subsidy scheme in Canada in order to raise awareness of recovery, challenge the stigma of mental illness and demonstrate that individuals with bipolar disorder are more than a diagnosis.

“There are people living with bipolar disorder in all walks of life, but it is not possible to change social attitudes without individuals sharing some elements of their personal experience of mental health issues with others”, states Mr. Mahar on his website, www.onemedialaw.com.

Mr. Mahar predicts that an investigation into the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission affair as he has requested will inevitably result in media coverage of his lived experience of bipolar disorder.    

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting has posted copies online of Mr. Mahar’s case study into the company subsidy scheme and his recent open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau requesting an investigation into the federal regulator: http://www.friends.ca/pub/13633.

While Mr. Mahar’s opposition to millions of Canadians being required to subsidize private media companies has previously resulted in one MP stating in Canada’s parliament that citizens are owed more than $1.2 billion, he has also been acknowledged in the Australian senate in relation to his mental health advocacy.

In addition, Mr. Mahar’s story was published last year in Coming Out Proud To Erase the Stigma of Mental Illness, a collection of personal stories of mental illness and recovery that former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter described as “a seminal work that confronts stigma head on and replaces it with acceptance and inclusion.”

The theme of World Bipolar Day this year is ‘More Than A Diagnosis’, promoting the fact that people with bipolar disorder are capable of living satisfying and productive lives.

Mr. Mahar has been involved in local, national and international mental health initiatives and since 2009 has been employed in a community mental health program supporting people with severe mental health issues in their recovery process. He is also presently assisting Professor Patrick Corrigan and his colleagues to promote the Honest, Open, Proud Program, designed to assist people in relation to the disclosure of mental health issues and reduce stigma (www.HOPprogram.org).

 “It is estimated that the global prevalence of bipolar disorder is between 1 and 2% [and], according to the World Health Organization, is the 6th leading cause of disability in the world”, states the International Society for Bipolar Disorders on its website.

“Stigma continues to be a significant barrier to mental health recovery which warrants challenging—in everyone’s interest”, asserts Mr. Mahar.

For more information on bipolar disorder see the International Bipolar Foundation (www.ibpf.org) and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (www.isbd.org).

To contact Keith Mahar or read his open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and/or case study into the company subsidy scheme, see www.onemedialaw.com.


Categories: Active and Healthy Living, Society, Lifestyles

Tags: bipolar, bipolar disorder, world bipolar day

About Public Interest Advocate

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A social worker, mental health advocate and political activist whose campaign against a wealth redistribution scheme in Canada has resulted in questions in the House of Commons and a precedent-setting legal case (Mahar v Rogers Cablesystems Ltd.).