Announcing the 2010 Bipolar Lives Scholarship Winners

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The 2010 winners of the Bipolar Lives Scholarship excited the judges with a mixture of the provocative and the practical. Now entering its third year, the Bipolar Lives Scholarship offers much needed support to college students and seeks to raise the quality of public discourse on bipolar disorder.

The 2010 Bipolar Lives Scholarship has been awarded to two outstanding students. The first winner, S.B., is a student from Jerome, Idaho, majoring in mental health counseling. S.B. wrote an instructive article on using mood tracking for managing bipolar disorder. The second winner, T.K., is a law student from Florida who tackled the controversial topic of why diagnosis of bipolar disorder is rising so rapidly.

According to scholarship donor Sarah Freeman:

“This year the quality of the applications was so strong that the judging panel decided to divide the first prize equally between two winning entries. It is wonderful to see the scholarship now enter its third year and to be able to offer increased prize money of $1,000 for the 2011 Bipolar Lives Scholarship. My original goal was to eventually make annual multiple awards of $1,000 in each Bipolar Lives Scholarship round, and as the Bipolar Lives website grows we get closer all the time to achieving this.”

The judging panel responded favorably to the positive tone of S.B.’s application. S.B.’s reaction to the award reflects the optimistic and constructive tone that made the essay a winner: “I feel honored to be a winner of the Bipolar Lives Scholarship. I work very hard at keeping stable, and I have discovered that just because I have bipolar disorder, it doesn't have to ruin, or run, my life.”

The judging panel felt that S.B.’s detailed explanation of the value of mood tracking was a specific and practical contribution that would both educate and encourage.

T.K.’s winning essay, citing research into the spike in bipolar diagnosis and the tendency to diagnose bipolar disorder in place of borderline personality disorder, was provocative but instructive.

According to T.K.: “I knew it was taking a chance to discuss something controversial, but misdiagnosis is a huge issue. Under diagnosis is bad enough but I wanted to explore the phenomenon of people believing they have bipolar disorder when really the problem is something else”.

The 2011 Bipolar Lives Scholarship opens for submissions on July 27, 2010, with the increased prize money of $1,000.00. As always, entry is free to students - there are no application fees of any kind. For the 2011 scholarship, applicants will post their submissions directly on the Bipolar Lives website. The winning submission will be featured permanently on the website with its own webpage.

Applicants must be at least 21 years old on or before July 1, 2010 and studying at a U.S. college, community college, or a technical or trade school. Both undergraduate students and students seeking a graduate degree are eligible. A complete list of suggested topics and submission requirements for 2011’s Bipolar Lives Scholarship is now available on the Bipolar Lives website.

For additional information on the Bipolar Lives Scholarship, contact Sarah Freeman or visit http://www.bipolar-lives.com/bipolar-scholarships.html

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Sarah Freeman

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