Bipolar Awareness Day - 4 October 2016

4 October 2016 is Bipolar Awareness Day and we're focusing on the major lack of funding for vital bipolar research.

More than one million people have bipolar in the UK. It's a severe, life-long mental illness with treatment hampered by misdiagnosis, misunderstanding and stigma.

Given the impact on many people's lives, we're asking you to pledge support for greater government funding for bipolar research. By signing our petition, you'll be making your voice heard on behalf of individuals affected by bipolar.

Our Ambassadors are also making their voice heard. Here's some of their thoughts for this year's Bipolar Awareness Day:

"Over the 8 years since I was diagnosed with bipolar type 2, I have only come across a small handful of health professionals that knew that bipolar was a mood instability disorder, let alone how this can affect an individual. I don't doubt that this is due to lack of funding and research into the disorder.

Bipolar is of course complex but if the medical professionals we rely on to keep us well don't have the knowledge required to care for patients or access and funding to current treatments available, how can we expect the general population to support us? By having more funding and research we ultimately raise awareness and understanding. With this ripple effect, we then start to breakdown the stigma and common misconceptions about living with bipolar."

- Carla

“Research is key to understanding and understanding is key to behaviour change amongst people with low to no awareness of mental ill health, in particular bipolar.

My personal experience of stigma within the workplace and a crushing sense of shame about my diagnosis could’ve been explained and contextualised with wider research amongst other people with bipolar. Coming to terms with my diagnosis has taken six years and this process could have been speeded up with the right help and support based on research. The experiences I’ve had within the workplace could’ve been prevented or perhaps been combated with research about how people with bipolar perform at work.

Research is key to understanding and it’s great to see Bipolar UK actively lobbying for an increase in the measly 1.6% allocated at the moment.”          

- Carolyn

Have you had similar experiences? Join in the conversation on Facebook or tweet us @BipolarUK using #BipolarAwarenessDay.