Consumer Advisory Board
The Consumer Advisory Board is made up of consumers who make recommendations to the Executive Board on what programs are needed and worthy of receiving IBPF funding.
Consumer Advisory Board Chair
I am a 49-year-old Bipolar woman in recovery from Alcoholism. I have a 19-year-old son who was diagnosed at age 5 with BP with schizoaffective disorder who is also on the autism spectrum . I also have an 18-year-old son with ADD and Depression. Their father, who committed suicide, also suffered from BP and substance abuse.
Currently I am completing my studies for my CAADAC Certification as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor and am doing my internship with adolescents with Dual Diagnosis.
I am on the Mental Health Committee of Jewish Family Services. Some of our major projects are the creation of Hope Village, an apartment complex for mentally ill persons who can live independently but need onsite support and desire communal living. We also put on an annual luncheon with Best Selling Authors or Actors, Professors or other known Professionals who are living with Mental Illness or working towards a solution to ease the stigma of Mental Illness.
I also sit on the Board of Hillel of San Diego, which is a Jewish university organization that brings Jewish life to college campuses in San Diego City and North County.
A powerful, honest, and intimate presenter, Kevin Hines has been featured in the film The Bridge, on Larry King Live, 20/20, Anderson Cooper 360, Good Morning America, and many more national and international print, radio, film, and television media outlets. He has written articles about the prevention of suicide and America’s mental health in the Santa Barbara Independent, and the San Francisco Medical Magazine, and the Santa Barbara Daily Sound. He is in the progress of writing his Autobiography-”Chronicles of A Psychotic Mind”
Kevin has spoken to a quarter of a million people about his first-hand experience with suicidal thoughts and his eventual attempt to die by jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge. He is one of 29 to have survived. Less than a tenth of 2% do. He is the only survivor of this specific instance who is actively spreading the message of living mentally healthy and prevention of suicide among all groups around the country and the globe. Kevin’s will to live and stay mentally well inspires people of all ages to change their lives for the better. He also encourages both physicians and mental health clinicians to be more empathetic to their patients, and to, as he says “Put yourself in their shoes.”
Kevin speaks from the heart and is an empowering and life altering choice for September’s Suicide Prevention month, or day events, or any presentation involving prevention of suicide or creating a mentally healthy life. Kevin is a current example of a person who suffers from a very serious mental disorder and has become a very productive member of society. He believes he has found his calling and wants to be able to help those in need.
One of Kevin’s goals is to also reach out to our Nation’s Military service men and women and our Nation’s Veterans. He will be taking a cross country tour to visit many of America’s VA Centers and Hospitals. It means the world to him to reach out to those who have given so valiantly and courageously to this free land that we all inhabit.
He brings a message of hope, and a future lived mentally well. Even after being in the face of great mental, emotional, and even physical pain.
He gives a first-hand account of how he found mental wellness by executing a very strict routine of cognitive behavioral therapy, intake of prescribed medication, rigorous cardiovascular exercises, timed sleeping habits (which equates to a proper circadian rhythm), educating himself as to the latest news and treatment of his diagnosis, and he completes many other steps which he speaks openly about to achieve total wellness.
Born and raised in NYC, NY, Teri Hoggard came to California on Christmas Day in 1990 with dreams of grandeur. Producer, Director of Health Promotions and Disease Prevention, and Associate Dean of Admissions were just some of the career titles she held. Then all at once everything seemed to come to a screaming halt.
In 2000, she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. She lost her job, went into a deep depression and then bankrupted. Eventually she lost her home and was at the mercy of friends until 2007. After two years of intense recovery and the help of a local mental health agency she was granted a housing program which gave her an apartment of her own.
That same year she began working and now works three part-time jobs to manage her life. In an effort to give back to her community, she volunteers with the International Bipolar Foundation as an Advisory Board member to advise on consumer needs.
Courtland (Court) Reed is in 10th grade at The Winston School. His hobbies include X-Box, air soft, hunting, and he has an Irish Setter named Cinnamon. Court was symptomatic since age 4 and diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 7. In addition to the bipolar disorder, Court has several learning disabilities.
Sam was born on January 28, 1994. He is oldest of three boys. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 7 after several years of misdiagnosis. He has always dealt with his diagnosis head on and has been very outspoken about the fact that he has a mental illness. When asked how Sam feels about having bipolar disorder, he says,”I try to refer to my bpd as a gift rather than a disability. Without it, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Even though I do struggle with the ups and downs, it gives me the focus and drive to get my projects done and makes me who I am.” Because Sam is open about his mental illness, friends and school mates feel comfortable talking to him about their disabilities. “Never give up”, says Sheffres, “I have friends, including myself, who have considered committing suicide or wanted to give up, but there’s always another happy day around the corner. It may not be tomorrow, and it may not be the next day either, but it will happen.”
A sophomore at High Tech High, Sam is a self-taught computer whiz and at 13 worked in the IT department at Qualcomm, the youngest intern they have ever had. There he created a backup monitoring system for the entire company that is still in use today. He has also started a computer and electronics repair company and specializes in data recovery. “Nothing makes people happier than to get all the data they thought was long gone… it is really gratifying.”
When Sam was 12 he heard his parents talking about how much money was raised at a gala for a local charity. He wondered why there were no fundraiser galas for kids with bipolar disorder, so he started his own efforts. Sam’s Cause, www.samscause.org, was born. Since then thousands of dollars have been generated for research into bipolar disorder by shopping on his web site. Sam explains, “People go to my site first, they click on a link to their preferred store, shop, and then that store kicks a percentage back to me. In some cases that can be as much as 7.5%. I then donate that amount in full. I have NEVER kept a penny, and my parents will confirm that. It doesn’t cost the buyer any more than it would if they went to the shopping site directly. Some of the coolest things people have bought are a bathtub, mattress, treadmill, and the uncoolest -- toilet paper!! I am not kidding.”
For his efforts to raise money for others with bipolar disorder, he is the recipient of the “Kohl’s Kids Who Care” regional winner, “Build-A-Bear Huggable Hero” national semifinalist, IBPF’s first “Imagine” award and has been featured in BP magazine and several local newspapers. He is very interested in videography, genetics, science, creative writing, football and making money. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, Sam laughs and says, “To be an entrepreneur and knock Bill Gates and Steve Jobs down a few pegs. Honestly, I want to invent stuff, all kinds of stuff. I have new ideas everyday!”