Monday 29th October saw Bipolar UK joined by friends, associates and kind benefactors who helped us celebrate our 35th birthday at Phillips Auction House. The event was kindly hosted by Phillips CEO, Edward Dolman, allowing guests access not only to their spectacular British HQ but also their annual Photography Sale which was on private view. You can view the gallery of pictures below.

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Over a million people are living with bipolar in the UK. Characterised by extreme mood swings, untreated it can be a devastating condition resulting in years in hospital and even suicide. The illness also has a huge impact on family and friends and can affect all aspects of life. 

Speaking at the event Bipolar UK CEO Simon Kitchen said: "Having the condition can increase the risk of suicide by up to 20 times. It takes over 10 years on average to get a diagnosis meaning people miss out on life saving treatment and support. Behind all those statistics there is obviously the person, a friend, a mother, a father, a son, a daughter, a colleague. We estimate that millions more are directly affected through family, friendship and work. Despite the challenges, with effective support and self-management people can live well with the condition and lead highly successful lives."

The event was also attended by Lord Prior of Brampton, Chair of NHS England, who also spoke at the event sharing his view on the importance of the parity of esteem in physical and mental health services for people living with bipolar and the role of the voluntary sector in supporting the NHS. In addition to this he shared his opinion on the value that peer support has to play in helping people with long term mental health conditions, such as bipolar.

Pledges of support were also offered on the night that will undoubtedly assist our peer support approach. Following the event a Trustee generously agreed to match fund all donations given as part of our 35th birthday celebration year. If you wish to support too you can make your pledge here. These donations play a vital role in ensuring people with bipolar get the care and support they need to live well with the condition.