Bipolar UK is the only national charity dedicated to supporting individuals and families with the much misunderstood and complex illness of bipolar.
Bipolar UK (previously known as MDF The Bipolar Organisation) was founded against the backdrop of the Mental Health Act 1983 in recognition of the overwhelming need for better support for people affected by this condition.
Bipolar is a complex and devastating illness. Around one million people in the UK, today have a diagnosis. However, this is only part of the story as it takes a shocking average of 10.5 years to receive a correct diagnosis of bipolar in the UK; tens of thousands of individuals are therefore within the cycle of assessment and potential diagnosis.
Bipolar affects every aspect of our lives and relationships. Families and friends can all be under immense stress related to the illness. As the national charity, they work with and support individuals concerned about a potential diagnosis, individuals with a diagnosis and individuals affected by bipolar including families and loved ones. Within our own families, friends, colleagues and acquaintances, we all know someone who is affected by bipolar.
It is indiscriminate, however, Bipolar UK wanted to highlight how it affects black men in light of the startling figures in relation to mental health in general. These figures are covered in some detail by Genesis Elijah and he presents a compelling case which will end the disenfranchisement felt by his peers.
Bipolar increases the risk of suicide by up to 20 times. The World Health Organisation identifies bipolar as one of the top causes of lost years of life and health in 15 to 44-year-olds.
Compared with other mental illnesses that have a similar or lower impact, treatment of bipolar is still hampered by misunderstanding and severe stigma.
All this and more explains why Bipolar UK has faced an unprecedented service demand in recent years. Moreover, demand is accelerating. Although a small national charity, their impact is significant and in the past twelve months alone have worked with and supported over 70,000 individuals and families affected by bipolar. Yet, receive less than 10% statutory funding.