Hull and East Yorkshire Mind CEO talks about World Bipolar Day

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Published: Thursday 30th March 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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For World Bipolar Day, David Smith, CEO of Hull and East Yorkshire Mind, suggests ways to raise awareness and eliminate stigma.

“Bipolar is a newer name for what used to be called manic depression, explains David.

“It’s a clinical diagnosis predominantly for people who live with extremes of mental health. These extremes vary from feeling very high and elevated, to feeling very low and experiencing serious depression. It can get more complicated, of course.”

HEY Mind exists to make sure that anyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for support and advice. They currently support 2,000 people each year, helping to improve their mental health.

“We offer a huge range of services to those who experience mental health problems, including people who live with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder,” David tells us.

The organisation also provides a range of supported accommodation across the East Riding area:

“Those with a diagnosis of bipolar can fluctuate very quickly between high and low. Our supported accommodation means that they can stay well, stay out of hospital and live their lives.”

One-to-one support and talking therapies are also an important service that Mind offers:

“Often, after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, people may feel despondent towards the future. Our talking therapies and mentoring sessions can really help them to move forward.”

The aim of World Bipolar Day is to raise more awareness of bipolar disorders and eliminate the social stigma that, unfortunately, often comes with a diagnosis.

“The more we talk about these things, the easier it is to understand and further discuss the topic in the future,” enthuses David.

“It’s an opportunity for us to educate people and take away some of the mystique surrounding mental health.”

David admits that some of the labels that we use to describe mental health can be quite scary: “Especially when we live in a world with newspaper headlines saying ‘Psycho Killers’ and such things.”

“I also think that awareness activity like World Bipolar Day is important for those who are living with the condition. They’re not alone, there are people out there who are experiencing the same, and organisations like ours can help them.”

We asked David what we can all do to get involved:

“The easiest and most powerful way of destigmatising mental health is sharing and talking openly about it. Start a conversation with your family, friends, work colleagues and kids. Make it okay to talk about mental health.”

He also encourages people who think they need support, or anyone who wants to find our more, to use the HEY Mind helpline.

“If people have questions, uncertainties or want to know more about the support options available, please call our information line on 01482 240200.”

For more information about local mental health services, please visit heymind.org.uk. Meanwhile, find out more about World Bipolar Day on the official website, worldbipolarday.org.

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Published: Thursday 30th March 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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