Andrea Paquette

Andrea Paquette

Bipolar society seeks youth for ‘action groups’

Two groups forming in Victoria and the Comox Valley

The Bipolar Disorder Society of BC is looking for six Victoria residents diagnosed with bipolar disorder, aged 19 to 25, to help fill what founder Andrea Paquette calls a “gap in youth research.”

Having recently received a $159,000 research grant from the Vancouver Foundation, the society, along with the University of B.C.-based Collaborative Research Team to Study Bipolar Disorder (CREST.BD), are forming two youth action groups in Victoria and the Comox Valley. Each group will research ways in which youth can stay well while living with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of mania, in which the individual feels overwhelmingly happy and energetic, which can result in irresponsible choice. These periods of mania transition into bouts of depression, in which the individual often feels unmotivated, anxious, hopeless or isolated.

Statistically, those diagnosed with bipolar disorder face a much higher risk of self-harm or suicide than the general population.

“Its a challenge everyday,” Paquette said. “It’s more than having good and bad days. One day you can be euphoric, goal-oriented and so energetic you can’t sleep. The next morning you won’t be able to get out of bed for three days.”

Paquette said that those interested in joining the youth action group don’t need any previous experience, but should have an interest in research and be available one to three days a month for the next two years. Training will be provided by a Toronto-based group, with research methods being decided afterwards. Positions are paid.

The society will also be hosting two research forums, open to all youth aged 16 to 25 suffering from bipolar disorder, the first of which will take place January in Victoria.

The society runs several youth mental health support groups in Greater Victoria, which Paquette said she formed after seeing a lack of groups focussed solely on youth.

“Its amazing to see how the groups have grown, you’ll get people who haven’t gotten out of the house for six months come down and make friends,” Paquette said.

“Every day (living with bipolar disorder) is a challenge, but with therapy, medication, nutrition and support, you can still live a full life.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This photo of Cheryl-Lynn Townsin and her daughter, Lexi, is part of Townsin’s documentary, RARE HUMANS - Turning Hope into Action, her capstone project for her graduate degree from Royal Roads University. (Photo courtesy of Cheryl-Lynn Townsin)
Greater Victoria mother’s grief fuels documentary of ‘Turning Hope into Action’

Lexi, 6, died in 2019 from Blau Syndrome and is among the children documented

This dead fir tree is one of many in Mount Douglas Park. Nine dead trees will be removed from the Douglas Creek site starting March 8 to make way for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. (Photo courtesy Jason Clarke)
Nine dead, hazardous trees to be removed from Saanich park ahead of bridge construction

Felling begins March 8, minor trail interruptions expected in Mount Douglas Park

A survey by Statistics Canada finds Black Canadians earn less than non-visible minority Canadians despite having higher levels of education. (The Canadian Press file photo)
COVID-19 worsened unemployment picture for Black Canadians

Black Canadians also more likely to suffer other hardships

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read