WHO WE ARE
UNITED WITH ONE GLOBAL MISSION
Bridget Mildon is CEO and Founder of FND Hope International, a US registered 501c3 charity created to advocate for those diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND). Since FND Hope’s inception in 2012, Bridget with the help of other volunteers has proceeded to create a global network of FND Hope charities which are independently registered in England/Wales, Scotland, and Canada and serves on each their boards.
A proponent of FND patient rights, Bridget created fndhope.org initially to build awareness. The website now also provides extensive health information, features webinars of leaders in the FND field and houses an online magazine.
Bridget oversees FND Hope’s international affairs and works closely with medical professionals, researchers, and patients from around the world. Not only was she an integral part of the team in creating the first FND Scientific Registry for research, but Bridget also works with industry thought leaders to develop accessible health information about functional illness. Through their collaboration, they tackle common misunderstandings, treatment, and education regarding those with functional disorders including writing the first patient booklet.
Bridget is an active participant in an International FND Research Outcome Measures working group and the Stanford FND Consortium. She has further advocated as a guest speaker at conferences in Birmingham, England and the United States’ Cleveland Clinic and Emory University. Bridget often speaks publicly regarding communication barriers between patients and doctors as well as highlighting how perceptions of FND have influenced our approach to the illness and those with the diagnosis.
As an active voice for FND diagnostic coding changes, Bridget has submitted commentary to the relevant work groups connected to labeling and diagnostic coding including a response in the British Medical Journal.
In an article published by Mad in America entitled ‘Turning Patients into Numbers,’ the wife and mother of three writes about her experience of being wrongly labeled as “psychosomatic” when her doctors were faced with medical uncertainty. After receiving a new diagnosis and then treatment, Bridget emerged as a patient of one to an advocate for thousands through the channels and influence of social media.
Bridget leads a team of 30-40 dedicated volunteers from around the world. Together they engage in awareness, social change, and online peer to peer support for thousands of individuals from over 100 countries. Bridget’s diverse experience and knowledge have cultivated into a unique perspective for those facing medical uncertainty and battling the challenges of living with Functional Neurological Disorder.
The conference titled Controversial labels and clinical uncertainties: psychogenic disorders, conversion disorder, and functional symptoms took place at Emory University Center for Ethics.
PRIMARY GOALS OF THE CONFERENCE:
- Outline key challenges and value conflicts in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with functional disorders.
- Generate a high profile publication highlighting priorities for future research, training, and clinical care.
Bridget participated in the 2-day conference advocating for FND patients. She gave opening remarks and was involved in the many discussions.
The Stanford FND Consortium meets monthly to collaborate on ways in which to help FND patients. The FND Consortium has four main missions:
1. AWARENESS 2. TREATMENT 3. RESEARCH 4. TRAINING for professionals
The following is a response to ‘The new somatic symptom disorder in DSM-5 risks mislabeling many people as mentally ill’ published in British Medical Journal March 2013.
BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1580 (Published 19 March 2013)Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1580
On behalf of those with a Functional Neurological Disorder which has been listed under the Somatic Symptom and Related Disorder heading, we are admittedly against the the SSD section in the upcoming DSM-5. We have actively voiced our concerns over the past year with our pleas falling on deaf ears. Read More