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Debbie S.

Marietta, GA, USA


I am Sean's Mom and founder of the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research. My experience includes several years in a non-profit setting. I have a Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania with core courses at Wharton School of Business. In addition to many years in executive and consulting roles, I started a company that was bought and taken public. The Fund is my passion. Sean should not have died. He had an educated, loving family, was handsome and successful and had health insurance. Many musicians have none of those things and are challenged with unique circumstances due to their profession. We have lost too many wonderful, talented people to this insidious disease, which has the highest rate mortality of all psychiatric disorders. It's time to band together.

The organization was started in recognition of the ineffective intervention and treatment of Sean. Sean was diagnosed as bipolar type 2 the year before he passed, 15 years after seeking mental health interventions. (On the average, it takes 8-10 years to diagnose, and during that time people self-medicate to function). Believing that the creative mind works differently and seems to be more susceptible to BD, the Fund was established with the primary mission to research the connection between bipolar disorder and creativity. We have recruited the best researchers in the world and recently presented at the largest international conference on BD in Rome because this is an undeveloped area of study.

We work toward education about BD, reduction of stigma and connection to available resources through our social media program and website, as well as many benefits. We have successfully funded research on the connection between bipolar disorder and creativity published in scientific journals, all within our first 2 years. We will continue to fund research and look to develop interventions appropriate to the unique challenges of musicians.