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More than 200 people with bipolar getting help in Cornwall

By WBMiles  |  Posted: February 17, 2014

bipolar-chq-presentation

Truro City Football Club supporters raised £300 for people with bipolar in Cornwall.

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More than 200 people in Cornwall who suffer from the mental health condition of bipolar are getting help at groups across the county.

Bipolar - previously known as manic depression - describes people whose emotional states can swing from one extreme to the other.

Truro City Football Club supporters raised £300 for the charity which runs the support groups.

Fiona Cooper, national development manager with Bipolar UK, was in Cornwall last week to raise awareness of the work being carried out and the help that is available to people with the condition.

She said: “We support anybody affected by bipolar and the statistics show that is as many as 1 in 100 people.

“I think it’s hard to access services somewhere like Cornwall and because of the stigma attached to mental health people are less likely to access services where they are more likely to bump into people they know.”

Bi-polar increases the risk of suicide by 20 times and the World Health Organisation has identified bipolar as one of the top causes of lost years of life and health in 15 to 44-year-olds.

The annual cost to the NHS in England of treating bi-polar is approximately £342 million with 60 per cent of that figure accounted for by hospitalisation.

Mrs Cooper said the first obstacle for people getting treatment for bipolar was getting a diagnosis.

She said: “When you are feeling low you’re less likely to go and see a doctor and when you are manic you feel like you can rule the world.

“You have to accept your diagnosis and work with the diagnosis. If you get to know your triggers then you can alleviate them and recognise when your mood is shifting and then you can do something about it.”

Paul Symon, who collected the cheque from Truro City Football Club, has suffered from bipolar since he was 14 years old.

He is now 53 and was finally diagnosed with bi-polar in 2009.

He said: “You can imagine what that has done to my life, my employment and my relationships. If it’s not treated properly it can wreck lives.”

Bipolar support groups meet at the Newquay Centre on St Michael’s Road, Newquay on second Monday of every month at 4pm, at the Stuart House Trust on Barras Street in Liskeard at 1pm on the fourth Tuesday of every month and at the Healing Star on Causewayhead, Penzance at 2pm on the third Wednesday of every month.

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