Bipolar UK is the national charity dedicated to supporting individuals with the much misunderstood and devastating condition of bipolar, their families and carers.
We provide a range of services to enable people affected by bipolar and associated illnesses to take control of their lives. Each year we reach out to and support more than 100,000 individuals and families through our peer support services and information/advice publications.
We also work in partnership with research organisations and campaign for new developments to tackle key issues.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
Working with and supporting individuals and families affected by bipolar, we proactively work to support those affected by suicide and hopefully help reduce the risk of suicide (unfortunately the risk of suicide increases by 20 if you have a diagnosis of bipolar).
Through our range of peer support services including a dedicated call back service and eCommunity, our partnership working and being part of the NSPA are core to achieving the overall objective of reducing suicide and improving support for those bereaved or affected.
We launched the Bipolar Commission on 30 March 2021. It is a research project aiming to transform health care for people who live with bipolar and reduce the number of people who complete suicide. Estimates suggest that people diagnosed with bipolar disorder account for between 10% and 55% of all suicides in the UK, which means that at least two people with bipolar die by suicide every day. We want to see a reduction in suicides and better lives for people living with bipolar disorder. With this Commission, we hope to encourage more awareness and research to help to achieve these goals.
What are your current priorities?
We will grow our digital peer support service for individuals and families affected by bipolar, fully participate in the NSPA and further develop our communications & policy capacity to engage with service users, professionals and others.
As well as providing peer support services, we will be encouraging people with lived experience of bipolar to give evidence to the Commission through completing surveys, submitting written evidence and in person at summits. We will use this lived experience research to inform policy recommendations.
What challenges are you currently facing?
As a small national charity facing unprecedented service demand, the major challenge is ensuring we have the resources and capacity to continue meeting the needs of individuals and families affected by bipolar.