Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Living Well with Bipolar Disorder: Creative Expressions

6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Congregation Shaarey Zedek, 27375 Bell Rd, Southfield, MI 48034

Join the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program and Gesher Human Services for an evening presentation and panel discussion about creative expressions and wellness.

Bipolar Disorder can be a devastating illness, for both individuals and families. It is a chronic disease with unstable and unpredictable moods. However, it is possible for those living with bipolar disorder and their families to live well and to thrive. At this event experts from the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program and Gesher Human Services will discuss wellness and creative expressions: how art plays an important role is establishing and maintaining wellness.

In collaboration with Gesher Human Services, this event will be moderated by Paul Blatt, Gesher President and CEO and will feature short presentations by Craig Nowak, Gesher Creative Expressions Program Coordinator, Melvin McInnis, M.D., Director of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program, Clifton Philips, Vice President of Gesher Residential/Supportive Housing, and a panel of lived experience experts to answer the audience’s questions.

Click here to submit questions ahead of the event.

Doors open at 6:30PM. Event begins at 7:00 PM and will end at 9:00 PM.

This event is sponsored by Congregation Shaarey Zedek. 



Clifton Philips

Gesher Human Services VP of Residential/Supportive Housing

Clifton Philips is the Vice President of Residential/Supportive Housing at Gesher Human Services. With over 13 years of industry experience, he has a clear passion for working with people. His decade-plus career has afforded him the opportunity to work in the community, as well as with group homes housing youths and adults.

His previous positions include Direct Service Provider, Home Manager, Area Manager, and District Director.

Clifton holds a Master of Science Degree in Business Administration and Management from Northwood University’s DeVos Graduate School.

Visit https://www.geshermi.org/ to learn more.

Craig Nowak

Gesher Creative Expressions Program Coordinator

Farmington Hills Artist, Craig Paul Nowak is the manager of Gesher Human Service's Creative Expressions Program, where he manages a comprehensive arts education and enrichment program for adults with intellectual, developmental, and mental disabilities.

Since 2019, he has organized countless arts classes and activities in partnership with cultural institutions like, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, College for Creative Studies, Michigan Opera Theatre, Detroit Institute of Arts, Matrix Theatre, and more.

Craig has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit from which he graduated Cum Laude. He has done various residencies and apprenticeships in Illinois, Michigan, and New Mexico.

Visit https://www.shopcreativeexpressions.com/ to learn more.

Meg LeDuc

Lived Experience Expert and Writer

Meg LeDuc lives in Rochester Hills with her husband and works as a marketing and communications manager. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a BA in English, and she attends the MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her writing has appeared in Brevity, CRAFT, The Awakenings Review, and Cleaver Magazine; was anthologized by San Fedele Press in Art in the Time of COVID-19; and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

She served as a NAMI Metro peer support group facilitator and is a contributor to bp Magazine. In college, she co-founded Finding Voice, the only student-run mental health advocacy group on the University of Michigan’s campus at that time. She is working on a memoir. 

Visit Meg's Substack newsletter here.

Melvin G. McInnis, M.D., FRCPsych

Director, Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program
Thomas B. and Nancy Upjohn Woodworth Professor of Bipolar Disorder and Depression
Professor of Psychiatry

Paul Blatt

Gesher Human Services President and CEO

Paul J. Blatt is the President and CEO of Gesher Human Services, where he is responsible for ensuring that the agency’s vision and strategic direction are meeting the needs of the community. He works with the Board of Directors and staff, serving as an ambassador of Gesher for prospective board and committee members, funding sources, and community leaders.

Paul is a strong advocate for equity amongst the people served by Gesher, addressing stereotypes of vulnerable populations in the areas of workforce development, special services to people with disabilities, mental health challenges, eldercare, youth services, financial literacy and foreclosure.

Paul has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Michigan State University and obtained his Master of Public Administration Degree from Oakland University. He has also earned certificates for Performance Measurement for Effective Management, and Strategic Perspective for Nonprofit Management from the Harvard Business School for Executive Education.

Visit https://www.geshermi.org/ to learn more.