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National Bipolar Foundation Rallies Broad Support
Date:11/13/2009

Memphis Mayor, AC Wharton Announces Press Conference Endorsing New Program as Ground-Breaking

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On November 17 at 2:00 pm, Memphis Mayor AC Wharton will announce during a press conference at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center his support for the a new cooperative venture that assists individuals with bipolar disorder. The Memphis-based National Bipolar Foundation has been in the national spotlight during the past few weeks for its joint initiative with the MedicAlert Foundation. A major breakthrough to benefit people living with bipolar disorder has been developed for the first time ever. The effort has produced a preventive care program called "Safe 'til Stable®." The initiative provides vital medical information to emergency responders in time of need through MedicAlert's live 24-hour emergency response service. In a medical emergency, this can help reduce the trauma experienced by individuals impacted with bipolar disorder. If an individual experiences an event, first responders on the scene (e.g., law enforcement, emergency services personnel, etc.) will look for a medical ID with the "MEDIC ALERT" symbol. The Safe 'til Stable program is a milestone in that individuals with bipolar disorder will have a voice in times when they cannot speak for themselves. In times of emergency, they will be properly routed for assistance. This will provide a sense of security for these individuals and those close to them.

The National Bipolar Foundation (NBPF) was founded in 2007 by Marc Kullman, in order to educate, reduce stigma and seek affordable healthcare for people living with bipolar disorder. The foundation's National Awareness Initiative has been launched to spread awareness through press releases, press conferences, proclamations, influential people, and its online campaign through social media networking. Further information can be found by visiting www.nationalbipolarfoundation.org. The MedicAlert Foundation, founded in 1956, is the leader in providing identification and emergency medical information (visit www.medicalert.org for details). Together, both foundations have developed a program that will prevent the misdirection, misdiagnosis, and mistreatments of participants; saving precious time and dollars.

Mayor Wharton is credited with the creation of the Jericho Project whose mission is to help those living with mental illness out of the criminal justice system and onto the road of recovery. The Mayor's forward-thinking program addresses mental illness and seeks to route cases from the courts to the hospitals. First, the program provides a person that finds themselves arrested and suffering with mental illness an opportunity to get regulated prior to sentencing. Second, it helps reduce the burden on our penal justice system and will ultimately save dollars for all tax payers.

The Safe 'til Stable program provides critical information that first responders will use to determine the routing of certain people who find themselves approached by law enforcement. All involved with the Jericho Project, the National Bipolar Foundation and the MedicAlert Foundation included, recognize the Safe 'til Stable program as a logical progression to properly assessing situations that may revolve around law enforcement.

The Mayor's press conference will include supporters such as Michael LaBonte, executive director of The Crisis Center of Memphis; Dr. James Greene, chairman of the University of Tennessee (UT) Health Science Center Department of Psychiatry; Stephen Bush of the Jericho Project; and Dr. Kennard Brown, executive vice chancellor and chief of staff at the UT Health Science Center.

The site for the press conference, the UT Health Science Center, is the flagship statewide academic health system providing clinical education, research, clinical care and public service to the citizens of Tennessee and the region. The Crisis Center of Memphis, a 24-hour telephone hotline for those in distress, has relocated to space on the UT Health Science Center campus. main campus is in Memphis and offers graduate health education in its six colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. UTHSC has additional colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy plus an Allied Health Sciences unit in Knoxville, and a College of Medicine campus in Chattanooga. For more information, visit www.utmem.edu.

    Press Conference Location:
    University of Tennessee Health Science Center
    Student Alumni Center
    800 Madison, Room 305
    Memphis, TN 38163

SOURCE National Bipolar Foundation


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SOURCE National Bipolar Foundation
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