World Bipolar Day is celebrated each year on 30th March – the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh who was posthumously diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
This year, national mental health charity, Bipolar UK, will bring together celebrities and experts, led by TV presenter Nadia Sawalha, boxer Frank Bruno and mental health campaigner Alastair Campbell – to break the taboo and get the UK talking about bipolar at their annual online conference.
The conference will be hosted by Bipolar UK ambassador and presenter of Channel 4’s ‘A Place in the Sun’, Leah Charles King, who will introduce an array of stories from people affected by bipolar and an impressive line-up of experts in bipolar.
TV presenter Nadia Sawalha and her husband Mark Adderley will join psychiatrist Dr Nick Prior to talk about how a diagnosis of bipolar can impact relationships and family life.
Also on the guest list are Bafta-winning creator of BBC3’s ‘In My Skin’ Kayleigh Llewellyn, author and environmental activist Mya-Rose Craig (AKA ‘Birdgirl’) and Bipolar UK podcast host and ambassador Emma Belle who’ll be having a conversation about parenting and supporting a loved one with bipolar.
Concluding the conference, boxer Frank Bruno and mental health campaigner Alastair Campbell will chat about how to live well with bipolar. The event is free and anyone affected by or interested in learning more about bipolar is invited to attend.
Speaking about the conference, the CEO of Bipolar UK, Simon Kitchen, said: “This is the third time we’ve hosted the conference online and it is an excellent opportunity for us to spark and continue conversations about bipolar, dispel myths and highlight how people can live well with the condition.
“I will be sharing a charity update, including some exciting news, as well as advice on what to do for anyone who thinks they may have bipolar. There will also be an opportunity to listen to our recently appointed Director of Research Dr Tania Gergel talk about the latest bipolar-related research and ongoing studies from around the world.
“There are over 1 million people living with bipolar in the UK alone and diagnosis is still taking on average 9.5 years which is why our conference, and getting as many people talking about bipolar as possible is vital.
“Events like these help those living with bipolar to feel less alone and highlight the help available to them via our free resources, including our eCommunity, Mood Tracker app and peer support groups.”
The conference will also see academics and clinicians, as well as those with lived experience, discussing how to manage some of the bipolar symptoms no one talks about, including hypersexual behaviour, overspending, paranoia and disrupted sleep.
Kitchen added: “The vision of World Bipolar Day is to encourage understanding about what bipolar is – and isn’t – and to banish stigma still associated with the condition.
“As a charity, our mission is to ensure conversations about bipolar keep happening so that those living with the condition, and those yet to be diagnosed, can thrive.
“I’m delighted to have so many well-known faces joining us for this year’s conference. The solidarity within our bipolar community is immense.”
The Bipolar UK free online conference will be held between 6pm and 9pm on 30th March.