Mental health issues are prevalent on college campuses

About 2.6 percent of American adults — nearly 6 million people — have bipolar disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The disease, characterized by significant and severe mood changes, is still dangerously misunderstood. Artist Ellen Forney detailed her diagnosis with bipolar disorder in the graphic memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me.

Ellen Forney

Cartoonist and Author

When Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 16 years ago, her first concern was for her creative future. The award-winning cartoonist prided herself on the artwork and stories she’d come up with during periods she described as manic.
Ellen chronicles her experiences in her New York Times bestselling graphic memoirMarbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me. Forney describes it as the hardest work she’s ever done. She hopes people struggling with their own mental balance will read her story and draw inspiration from it.
“A lot of people came out after Robin Williams’s death, and in general there’s a lot more awareness about mental illness, but for the most part people still don’t feel safe talking abut their personal experiences. I think that the more people come out, the more the stigma will lift, but it’s not easy. I will say for myself, though, that coming out has made me feel infinitely stronger and more resilient.” Quote by Ellen Forney from the recent article in The Huffington PostFull article

*National Alliance on Mental Illness on Campus, Learn About The Issue. Full article

Ellen Forney speaking at GWU’s Composing Disability Symposium

Author, Ellen Forney, speaking at GWU Composing Disability Symposium on April 3rd. If you’re in the area check it out.

Composing Disability is a biennial conference series sponsored by George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and SciencesOffice of Diversity and Inclusion,  Office of Disability Support ServicesEnglish Department, and University Writing Program.  The second installment of this event series, Composing Disability: Diagnosis, Interrupted, is scheduled for April 3-4 2014 in the Jack Morton Auditorium of GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs.  This event will offer a series of panel presentations, keynote speeches  and performances that take as their focus the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (published May 2013), examining the fraught relationship between the diagnostic work of the medical industry and the embodied lives of disabled people.

Composing Disability event flyer