December 2022-January 2023 | News

Understanding Bipolar

Understanding Bipolar

Rotary’s new partnership with Bipolar UK aims to make it easier to reach out to the many people affected by the condition.

Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland has joined forces with Bipolar UK as part of a new two-year partnership.

The idea is to reach more people affected by bipolar and help them get the information and support they need to live well with the condition.

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Bipolar is a severe mental health condition characterised by high and low moods. At their most extreme, the highs can lead to delusional thinking and psychosis and the lows to endless suicidal thoughts.

The partnership means that both organisations will work together to support 20% more people affected by bipolar in their first year.

This means an additional 20,000 people will get life-changing support in the next 12 months.

People can and do live full and rewarding lives with bipolar, but the first step is accessing the right support.”

Rotary clubs and members across the UK will be using their networks and community connections to promote Bipolar UK’s new campaign, ‘Could it be bipolar?’

The campaign aims to get people who are struggling with their mental health to consider if they might have the condition.

The new resources on their website include a Mood Disorder Questionnaire to check how likely it is, a Mood Tracker app and information about getting a diagnosis.

Currently, it takes around 9.5 years for someone to receive a bipolar diagnosis, having a huge impact on people’s lives, relationships, studies, careers and finances.

As well as sharing the campaign message, Rotary members across the UK will encourage their community networks to watch Bipolar UK’s 20-minute ‘Understanding Bipolar eLearning course’- a free resource for employers, colleagues, friends and family who want to learn about bipolar so they can understand how to support anyone they know who’s living with the condition.

Bipolar is characterised by significant shifts in mood and energy. Bipolar UK’s Mood Scale and associated tracker app help people monitor moods to help spot patterns, triggers and any early warning signs of a relapse.

Gordon McInally, who will become Rotary International president in July 2023, is also an ambassador for Bipolar UK.

“This partnership will help Rotary members across Great Britain and Ireland to understand more about bipolar, its symptoms and what support is available,” Gordon commented.

“There are currently 1 in 50 people living with bipolar in the UK and many more who support them.

“Together, we can help shine a spotlight on bipolar and on the excellent work of Bipolar UK, helping us signpost people to its comprehensive support services so they can receive a formal diagnosis.

“People can and do live full and rewarding lives with bipolar, but the first step is accessing the right support.”

Speaking about the partnership, CEO of Bipolar UK, Simon Kitchen, added: “Bipolar is a life-long severe mental health illness characterised by highs and lows.

“People living with bipolar are 20 times more likely to take their own life than someone from the general population.

“We are so excited about this partnership with Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland, whose mission and aims align so well with our own. And it means we will be able to provide more people with bipolar with the tools they need to live a fulfilling life.”

Bipolar UK has created a dedicated Rotary sub-site for the partnership, where you can learn more about the ambitious plans and how Rotary clubs and members can play a part in supporting people to live well with bipolar.

All the resources available to Rotary clubs can be found on Bipolar UK’s website.

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