Suggested Books

Handbook of LGBT Issues in Community Mental Health
Essential reading for all mental health professionals, gay or straight,

HIV Home Care Book

Electro Boy: A Memoir of Mania
Fighting depression and Bipolar Disorder

Cracked Not Broken
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognizable structures to define a modern city. Yet, for author Kevin Hines the bridge is not merely a marker of a place or a time.

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
In her bestselling classic, An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison changed the way we think about moods and madness.

Crystal Clean
A mothers struggle with meth addiction and recovery.

Overcoming Crystal Meth Addiction: An Essential Guide to Getting Clean
Dr. Steven Lee, MD, a psychiatrist who specializes in crystal meth addiction, offers a complete guide to the drug, its effects, and how to overcome it.

Alive Again: Recovering From Alcohol and Drug Addiction
A powerful book on addiction recovery by a doctor who overcame addiction himself, the renowned founder and president of The Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles

The Politics of Crystal Meth: Gay Men Share Stories of Addiction and Recovery
A non-profit executive, governmental employee, financial advisor, travel agent, student, fashion designer - what these gay men have in common is a knowledge of pain, obsession, despair, degradation, and finally freedom from the one element that connects their stories: crystal meth 

Lavendar Light: Daily Meditations For Gay Men In Recovery
In the first book of daily meditations written especially for gay men in recovery, simple yet powerful words of wisdom speak of this unique experience--and reflect upon issues that are rarely addressed by support groups or recovery literature

Vastly More Than That: Stories of Lesbian and Gay Men in Recovery
An articulate and thoughtful analysis of gay men and lesbian women navigating the recovery maze explores both the universality of the recovery experience and the special nature of recovery as gay men and lesbian women experience it. 

Suggested Published Papers & Articles

New Study Associates Mental Illness to Higher HIV Testing
HIV Outcomes Could Improve with a Unified Treatment Approach
The Psychology of Illness

HIV and the Brain, Then and Now
The Return of Spencer Cox
Mental Health and HIV, The Uncharted Territory
Demand for Addiction Services Could Double in 2014
Double Stigma, Double Challenge: Mental Health and HIV
Addressing the Hidden LGBT Heath Disparity

HIV Outcomes Could Improve by Inte-grating Treatment of Comorbid Mental Illness

Mental Health Care for People Living With or Affected by HIV/AIDS
The Insidious Effects of Trauma and PTSD
Mental and Psychological Problems Affect Over 50% in U.S. HIV Group



"Friends of the Bi Polar Bear"

Bert Coffman
Charles Maurice
Virgil Parrett
Michael Burns
Mark A. Davis
Mary and Paul Willi
Dot Quimby
Joseph Leahy
Tien Chiu
Diane Lombardi
Kandy and Chuck Cohn
Kevin Garrity
Ed and Cindy Spicer


Get in touch

Follow me on Facebook and YouTube

fb yt twitter



If you would like me to tell my story at your organization or support group contact me at

Share Your Story

If I can talk about mental illness, so can you. Email


"Stephen has been a dedicated participant in the AIDS/LifeCycle for years, both as a rider and a roadie. During that time, he has been instrumental in helping to bring the attention of the ride community to the often intertwined issues of depression, substance use and HIV. Any one of those issues might intimidate someone from speaking up about their experiences. But Stephen has shown great courage in talking about all of them. In the process, he has helped to educate others and reduce the stigma associated with this triumvirate of challenges."

- Lorri L. Jean, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles LGBT Center

"The Bipolar Bear came out here tonight and talked about the mental health issues he's living with. By doing that, talking about the issues, he lessens stigma by showing others they are not alone. By using his voice, he gives others hope. This is just one example of how healing happens in the community."

- Scott A. Kramer LSCW, ACSW, Hi-five Support, A Support Group for Gay Men Living with HIV/AIDS

"Stephen- I am an MFT who works with individuals in a residential facility with chronic mental illnesses, such as Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. Reading your story is inspiring, because it shows people that you don't have to be completely debilitated by your illness and you can succeed if you put your mind to it. When my clients complain that they can't do things, it's stories like yours that I bring up, to help them see that they can do whatever they dream of if they believe in themselves. Thank you for that."

- Jenifer S. (Rider #5263)

"Hi Stephen-- I felt compelled to write you and tell you how moved I was (am) by the material and writing on your website. As someone who has been directly impacted by the serious mental illness of several members of my family (although not within the HIV + population), there is an abundance of material that deeply resonates with me, and makes me feel, in your words, not alone, even though I perhaps do not belong in the audience this website it geared toward.Thank you for everything you do, for touching people's lives in this way, and for shedding light on these profoundly important issues. I feel very grateful that people like you exist and contribute to the world in this way."

- Amanda Lezera, Guest to the site January, 2015

"Stephen's work over the past few years continues to amaze me! He has taken a double diagnosis that would stop most people in their tracks and turned it into something powerful. By sharing his story he is making a bigger difference than he will ever know, helping countless people in similar situations. I know it is not always easy for him to step into the spotlight and his doing so is an incredibly generous, kind and courageous act. I am proud to be his friend. He inspires me."

- Blake Strasser, Positive Pedalers National Board of Directors, and Rider Coach for BRAKING AIDS® Ride

"Stephen has dedicated his life to staying healthy and modeling good health for body and soul. Some people would be unable to get past the devastation when diagnosed with two very serious illnesses. Stephen meets his health issues head on and wants others to be able to do so as well. He is now working to help providers understand the road to health that has changed his life."

- Janet Weinberg, Interim Chief Executive Officer/COO Gay Men's Health Crisis, 2005-2014

"In my work with mental health consumers and advocates, I have the pleasure of collaborating with many passionate, engaged, and caring people who genuinely want to make a difference. Stephen Puibello is one of the most engaged and informed advocates and activists I’ve ever come across. If you look at his website,, you’ll see detailed information on a dizzying array of agencies, causes, issues, and forums. He works effectively with elected officials; the proclamation he recently received from the leadership of the city where he lives, Cliffside Park, attests to this. Most people (myself included) focus tightly on one issue, or agency, or challenge in the community. Stephen’s energy and ambition are bigger than that. That breadth of vision inspires me in the work that I do."

Christian Huygen, Ph.D. ​Executive Director Rainbow Heights Club, Brooklyn, NY

"Your presentation raised our awareness about the challenges and opportunities inherent in working with clients who have HIV and mental illness, and in some cases substance abuse issues as well."

- Karen Landovitz, LCSW / Senior Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker / Gay Men's Health Crisis

"Stephen has been able to use his skills as a journalist, his natural ability to connect with others, and his passion to create awareness of stigma around mental health issues. This is an issue that is often glossed over in the LGBT community, and one that Stephen has bravely stepped forward to address."

- Gary R. McClain, PhD, LMHC

"Bipolar Bear is my hero breaking ground people don't tread and ignore, speaking OUT about living with Bipolar and HIV. As a gay man he challenges us to face facts on how mental health condition's affect people living with HIV/AIDS and LGBT communities more than the general population due to stigma, discrimination, addiction, self medication and death by suicide. Stephen A. Puibello wakes us up with facts, educates, he rides, raises funds, and enlightens and bears witness. Bravo!!!"

- Mark A. Davis, Founder Pink & Blue's Support Group, Philadelphia, PA., Proud gay man living with Bipolar II and HIV+ since 1988

"Stephen has been an active and steadfast member of the NAMI GLBT Networking Group. He has been an invaluable supporter and advisor to the work of NAMI to meaningfully include and support GLBT individuals. He provides this group and communities beyond his NAMI family with resources through his voluntarily maintained website and blog with which he shares a unique perspective of personal recovery and experiences with bipolar disorder, HIV and substance abuse. He has built a strong awareness-building platform for these issues through cycling events, media outreach and many contacts he makes to advocate and raise funds for recovery efforts."

- Marin Swesey, Program Manager, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Multicultural Action Center, 2008-2013