The, mental health organisation Aware has called for increased education, awareness and advocacy against the social stigma of mental health conditions, in particular bipolar disorder.
Aware says that in Ireland, it is estimated that 45,000 people experience bipolar disorder and according to the World Health Organization, bipolar disorder is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world.
Brid O’Meara, Director of Services with Aware said: “Bipolar disorder is a serious condition and typically consists of both manic and depressive episodes, separated by periods of normal moods. Early intervention, as well as ongoing support, are very important.
“Bipolar disorder can cause unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. The condition is characterised by extreme mood swings, which can range from mania to depression.”
Aware is a non-profit organisation which provides education, information and support to those affected by depression and bipolar disorder. The organisation runs a number of support services, such as a Support Line and Support Mail service, Life Skills Programme, a Relatives Education Programme and Support Groups. The nature of the peer-to-peer Support Groups for those affected by bipolar disorder mean that people can speak openly about their condition and listen to others going through similar experiences.
A key focus for Aware is to raise further awareness of the range of support and services they can offer to individuals and their loved ones affected by depression or bipolar disorder, whilst reinforcing that with the right support, it is possible to lead a normal life.