About us Meet the team Patrons and Friends Patrons and Friends Patrons Paul Abbott Paul Abbott, the creator of Shameless, Clocking Off and No Offence, is one of the most critically and commercially successful British TV writers and producers. He became a patron for Bipolar UK in 2012. Paul says if organisations like Bipolar UK closed it would be a tragedy. “I can think of three men who would not be alive if I had not insisted they needed to act and to start by getting in touch with the charity." Bill Oddie, OBE William Edgar Oddie OBE is an English writer, comedian, composer, musician, artist, birder, conservationist, television presenter and actor. It wasn’t until 2010 that he openly discussed his diagnosis of depression and bipolar disorder. "Ten years to arrive at a correct diagnosis! Really? I can believe it. It happened to me. It’s happening to others right now. It could be fatal.” Bill has been a patron for Bipolar UK for almost a decade. Kay Redfield Jamison Kay Redfield Jamison PHD is a clinical psychologist and writer whose work has centered on bipolar disorder which she was diagnosed with in early adulthood. She is The Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders and Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Neil 'Twink' Tinning Neil Tinning is a photographer and musician who has been a patron of Bipolar UK for over ten years. He is an amazing ambassador for the charity and for individuals affected by bipolar. James Wade James is the second most successful darts player in the history of the PDC and at 24 became the youngest player to win a major PDC World Darts Championship title. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 2012 and became a patron for Bipolar UK in 2016. “I feel privileged to have been asked to become a patron for Bipolar UK. I was diagnosed as having bipolar four years ago and I am committed to increasing awareness of the illness." Ambassadors Emma Belle Emma Belle is a podcast host and mental health advocate. Emma is 39, originally from Brighton, UK, and has lived in Paris, Geneva and now Dubai. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder ten years ago, following a breakdown, Emma now shares her story and experience for managing mental health and trauma recovery with daily practices, tips and resources through her social media platforms, blogs and podcast. Leah Charles-King Leah Charles-King has over 30 years’ experience of media and the entertainment industry as a music artist, TV and radio presenter, producer, live host and public speaking. She is also the founder and public speaking coach at The Red Carpet Academy which teaches on-camera skills to spokespeople and influencers. Leah recently launched her own platform presenting and producing content on mental health and well-being to normalise the conversation and end the stigma around mental illness. She’s since been featured on many podcasts and interviews openly discussing her mental health journey. Dean Clarke From the age of 16 Dean spent eight years in the British Army, completing operational tours across the world including both Iraq and Afghanistan. After six years of struggling with his mental health after leaving the army he was diagnosed with bipolar and PTSD. Since his diagnosis Dean has come to realise that with the right support, talking openly and understanding his illness he can live a great life alongside bipolar. Being a man and being open about his struggles with his mental health was not an easy process. He believed that he had to fit a role of what man should be like. Dean wants to help men build their confidence and understanding that being open about their mental health and their struggles is the right thing to do. Dr Clare Dolman Dr Clare Dolman is a former Chair of Bipolar UK and a journalist and researcher specialising in how bipolar affects women. Clare is the Co-chair of the Bipolar Commission and has the condition herself. April Kelley Founder of Mini Productions, April is an award-winning actress and producer who has carved out her career pioneering female talent as well as shining a light and giving a voice to bisexuality and bipolar. After years of misdiagnosis and being prescribed the wrong medication, April was 27 years old before she was diagnosed with having bipolar disorder. The actress said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Bipolar UK family, a charity that does so much good for those, like myself, who live with the condition as well as their loved ones. As an ambassador/advocate for the charity I’m excited to be working with them on growing their existing peer support approach and the difference they make to people’s lives. My hope is to not only reassure you that you’re not alone but to shine a light candidly on all aspects of living with this superpower...Let’s do this!" Esther Marshall An author changing the game in the early years children’s book market – her books empower children to fulfil their dreams regardless of gender, race or religion and teach children critically important lessons in self-belief, mental health and gender equality in an authentic and fun way. Esther is also founder of sTandTall, an organisation that provides support and resources to individuals suffering from abuse and bullying via an online platform, community and education programmes. Esther has gained national media coverage including the Huffington Post, Cheddar, Sky News, The BBC, Daily Mail and Cosmopolitan and has won numerous prizes, including the prestigious UK Governments Point of Light Award, Just Giving Influencer of the Year Award, Unilever Hero’s Award and Runner up for Women of the Future. Esther was also named number 9/100 of Women in Tech to watch. She has been invited to speak about her work and her story around the world at events such as Cannes Lions Festival, One Young World, Buckingham Palace to personally speak to Duke and Duchess of Sussex, WE Day along with many schools. She has over eight years’ experience working at Unilever with many brands and specialises in Diversity and Inclusion. She left her very prestigious corporate career as Global Lead of Gender Diversity and Inclusion at Unilever to fight to break the stigma around mental health and change the game in this space for the next generation after losing her younger sister to mental illness specifically bipolar. Esther is a mum to two-year-old Asher who is the first and most important critic of Esther’s writing. Natasha Naomi Rea We are delighted to welcome on board our newest Ambassador, actress and author Natasha Naomi Rea. Natasha launched her debut book 'Me, Myself and Bipolar Brenda (The Journals of a Happy Soul With A Chaotic Mind.)' in 2020 and is the ambassador for the #SpeakOutLikeBrenda campaign which encourages people to speak their truth about mental health and living with bipolar. Diagnosed with type 2 bipolar, she speaks from the heart about the ups and downs of life with bipolar and we are excited to have her on board. "Regardless of what you go through always grab hold of anything that brings you a little bit of light. Turn the madness into magic and be proud of who you are, warts and all." Friends Stephen Fry Stephen Fry has experienced mental health problems for much of his life. But it wasn't until he was 37 that he was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder. "I'd never heard the word before, but for the first time I had a diagnosis that explains the massive highs and miserable lows I've lived with all my life." President of Mind, we are proud to call him a friend of Bipolar UK.