It was early 2016 when Erin Michalak approached me with the idea of creating a CREST.BD blog. As an avid blogger, I was more than happy to take leadership of what eventually became the Bipolar Blog – this knowledge translation platform you’re reading right now. After more than a year of facilitating the Bipolar Blog’s content, it saddens me to say I’m stepping down to pursue other opportunities. But, I want to leave on the note that blogs are a powerful way to employ knowledge translation.
The title of this blog post was the title I picked out for the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research’s “Health xChange” event that took place this past May. I wanted to reuse it because it unveils the magic of the written word to communicate information that can potentially save lives. This speaks to me on a personal note, as I very much attribute my own wellbeing – as someone who lives with bipolar – to the ability to read research. Further, it is the process of deconstructing that research and helping others read it in plain language that has been immensely therapeutic for me. It is a transformative experience in many ways, and for many people. Hopefully, we’ve thoroughly demonstrated this on the Bipolar Blog.
When I first became a peer researcher, I didn’t know how it was going to change my life. I have grown both as a person and as a professional in many ways and with credit due to many others. I have made lifelong connections with truly amazing individuals, and I have been welcomed into an environment with the necessities – acceptance, respect, compassion, and good quality chocolate. Not to sound like I’m abandoning ship – because the chocolate really sealed the deal with the CREST.BD team – but one can never “thank you” enough.
This is a short and sweet post, as I’d like to end with emphasis on the tools CREST.BD has created – tools that have helped me and my loved ones, and many others out there:
If you’d like to follow me on my journey, you can find me at Redefining Bipolar.
Photo credit: Miguel Á. Padriñán
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