CEO & Founder of The Kite Program
Living with bipolar 1 disorder (triggered by childbirth)

Hannah Hardy-Jones developed bipolar disorder in 2013 after the birth of her first child.  Intense bouts of depression caused her to barely be able to function. But it was this challenging experience, along with her recovery, that propelled her to create The Kite Program, a company that tailors wellbeing support for individuals and groups. Now, Hannah’s life is full and happy as she’s found a passion for helping others in the mental health space. Seeing the positive impact of her work contributes greatly to her ongoing wellness.

Hannah’s Story

How has your condition impacted your life? When were you first aware of it and what was your most difficult time? 

I was first aware of my condition when I started to exhibit manic symptoms following the birth of my first child in 2013. I became acutely unwell and was in a manic state for over six weeks until the right meds were found.

This was the most difficult time for my family and husband as my mania was so scary for them. However, the most difficult time for me was following this when I had three intense bouts of depression (rapid cycling) when my baby was four to seven months old. I had suicidal ideation and could barely function.

From there, it took two years to recover and be able to go back to work, and from there, I have stayed well by managing my condition through medication and tools.

What is your life like now? What does success look like for you?

My life is full and happy and I no longer have the constant fear of relapse. I have found my passion in helping others and working in the mental health space which contributes greatly to my wellness. Success to me is being able to regulate my mood and have a positive impact on both of my children and husband. Success is also seeing the impact that my company has on others.

What help or specific strategies helped you to get well and move to stability?

Psych team, social worker, medication, group therapy, seeing a psychiatrist one on one, support from my friends and family, reducing triggers and influences.

What do you do to manage your condition and stay healthy on an ongoing basis?

For me, medication is number one and I have accepted that I will take medication for the rest of my life.

Getting enough sleep and knowing the point that I will seek help if my sleeping becomes an issue (e.g. three nights of very broken sleep means that I have to prioritize getting a good night’s sleep on the fourth night even if this means me sleeping in the spare room).

Reducing sugar—this has a huge impact on my mood.

No alcohol.


Nature and being out in the wind.

Music—this plays a huge part in my wellness—and noise cancelling headphones.

Are there positives that have come from having a mental health condition?

It has broadened my mind and made me so much more accepting of people who struggle. My empathy has increased and so has my desire to help others. (Previous to my condition my career and money were dominant drivers.) I am more aware of myself and look after myself more. My business would never have been created if I didn’t go through this.

How has your condition impacted your work and your career? 

My career was on pause for a few years after my diagnosis. I worked in HR and when I went back to this role, I felt empty and uninspired. This drove me to look for something that made a difference in the world.

What words of encouragement would you give to someone struggling with a condition similar to yours?  

Keep going.

Remember that this is a moment in time—it will pass.

Recovery is possible.

Keep searching for medical professionals who understand you and advocate for you. Don’t give up until you have found these people.

Your mental health condition is often lying to you—don’t listen to it. Keep fighting.

What motivated you to join The Stability Network and what do you hope to get from it?

I was so inspired when I saw this group and the incredible people in it. I wanted to be part of something trying to make change on a large scale and to network with likeminded passionate people. I hope to make lasting connections and to be part of events and discussions that contribute to a better world.

Are there resources that helped and/or inspired you that you recommend?

I was never able to find a book related to bipolar that resonated with me. My favourite book is The Kite Runner which always inspires me (and inspired the name of my business). Also, I love the videos and resources by a charity called Voices of Hope, as well as the Tik Toks of Jazz Thornton and Genevieve Mora.