On Tuesday 27th October, Bipolar UK – the national charity dedicated to supporting individuals with the much misunderstood and devastating condition of bipolar – hosted a virtual panel event called ‘Being Your Best With Bipolar’, chaired by award-winning TV and radio presenter, Leah Charles-King. If you missed it you can watch the whole event now.

The event followed recent research from Bipolar UK which found that many people living with bipolar disorder have been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes increased feelings of anxiety, amplified feelings of depression, and a greater desire to be alone.

The panel discussion was free for the public to attend and offered people affected by bipolar an opportunity to hear from (and engage with) a panel of inspirational influencers and celebrities, who have learnt to be their very best while living with and managing their own bipolar, in order to achieve their goals and dreams.

Through sharing their experiences, the panellists hoped to empower people from the bipolar community to feel better supported and more inspired during this challenging time.

The event was chaired by Bipolar UK’s latest Ambassador, Leah Charles-King, who first rose to fame in the 1990’s as one third of the girl band ‘Kleshay’, who were signed to SONY. She enjoyed two UK chart singles, as well as a successful arena tour supporting Lionel Richie.

However, Leah’s journey wasn’t without its challenges. In her 30s, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and for many years she kept silent about her condition after experiencing first-hand the “stigma and shame that can come with bipolar disorder.”

Leah has recently made the brave decision to break her silence about her diagnosis by “coming out” on social media. She now speaks only of her mental health in order to empower herself and others in the hope that she can help to normalise the conversations around bipolar.

Leah was joined by actress April Kelley, podcast host Emma Belle, 2020 SAS Who Dares Wins star Bethany Robinson, actress, author and Bipolar UK ambassador Natasha Naomi Rea and Steve Gilbert OBE for services to Mental Health, who all have personal experience of living with bipolar disorder and are passionate about promoting awareness and education to empower others living with the condition.