A new report from NHS Digital and National Statistics has included statistics about bipolar for the first time.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing in England  report is the result of a series of surveys  to investigate the mental health and wellbeing of people living in England. The survey is crucial as it includes much-needed information on the prevalence and impact of bipolar.

The NHS Digital survey reports that 2% of the population screened positive for bipolar. However, the majority (60%) of people screening positive for bipolar weren't receiving appropriate medication or therapy at the time of the interview. 1 in 8 individuals had unsuccessfully asked for treatment in the past 12 months.

Graph showing rates of bipolar against sex and age

These surveys are carried out every seven years and provide the most reliable insight into mental health in England.

Suzanne Hudson, Chief Executive of Bipolar UK, explains, "These official statistics confirm what we see and hear within our services every day. Bipolar is a severe, life-long mental illness and a major global healthcare crisis."

Rates of bipolar were found to be higher in young people aged 16-24. People living alone, who were unemployed or who receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) were also found more likely to have bipolar.

Tuesday 4 October 2016 is Bipolar Awareness Day and Bipolar UK is focusing on the major lack of research funding for bipolar, which also affects care, support and treatment. We all know someone affected by bipolar. With the inclusion of bipolar within the official statistics, everyone can start to see and understand the true scale and impact of this illness.

Go here to read the full report via the GOV.UK website.

Find out more about Bipolar Awareness Day 2016 here.