Robert Villanueva

Robert Villanueva, based in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, is an international mental health advocate, speaker and mentor in arena of lived experience of bipolar disorder.

His advocacy journey began over 25 years ago when he received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, prompting him to confront the stigma surrounding mental illness. Robert collaborates with researchers, academics, and policymakers both in the United States and globally, providing insights drawn from his own journey and representing the often-overlooked voices of the “ordinary” population affected by mental health conditions. His unique perspective as someone without a formal education has enabled him to bridge the gap between the academic world and the everyday experiences of individuals living with bipolar disorder.

He has served as a “Trainer of Trainers” with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and currently chairs the lived experience advisory board for the “Healthy Lifestyles with Bipolar Disorder” research study at the University of California, Berkeley.

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