• Bookmark
  • Offbeat news from the world of sport

    We have more newsletters

    I always knew how destructive, frustrating and restrictive living with bipolar can be. I have had to spend my life feeling like I was different from other people and that they didn’t understand me.

    Therefore, it was eye-opening to attend the launch of Bipolar UK’s Commission report findings at the House of Parliament and find myself talking to people with very similar lived experiences.

    This kind of event is way out of my comfort zone, but when Bipolar UK asked me to attend to help attract interest MPs, Civil Servants and the media, I knew it was really important to support the cause and try and stop other people suffering in the way that myself and many others that attended have.

    READ MORE: James Wade hails brilliants Beau Greaves ahead of House of Commons visit

    The main highlight from the report findings, and the thing that I have talked about the most, is the time it currently takes in the UK to get an accurate diagnosis and the way that people are treated in the period leading up to that.

    It can take between five and 10 years to get accurate recognition of being a sufferer, and in that time people lose their relationships, jobs, homes and often their lives as they struggle to come to terms with the way they feel without suitable support and medication.

    I was joined in the room by several of my fellow Bipolar UK ambassadors, including TV presenters Leah Charles-King and Christopher Biggins, and music icon Nicky Chinn, who wrote smash hits like ‘Lonely this Christmas’ and ‘Living Next Door to Alice’. The former is the soundtrack for Bipolar UK’s Christmas campaign this year.

    It was a pleasure to spend time with them as well as chat to MPs from all parties about the challenges facing Bipolar sufferers and the action that needs to be taken.

    More than five million friends and family are significantly affected by a loved one’s bipolar – 17 per cent of the burden of disease for mental illness is down to Bipolar yet only one per cent of funding for mental health is directed toward the problem.

    Much more important that money though is that someone with bipolar takes their own life every day, and 10 per cent of our community have attempted to take their own life in the last six months.

    As someone that has been in an institution on suicide watch being monitored every few minutes and having all items removed from my room, stats like these are a stark reminder of where I could be if it wasn’t for the support of my wife Sammi and the determination I must be there for my children. If you are interested in the subject, then the full report and findings are HERE.

    Later in the week I then went to Manchester to watch national treasure Ricky Hatton complete his own journey of redemption by returning to the boxing ring to a hero’s welcome.

    Ricky has openly talked about his own struggles with mental health and weight gain, lack of self-purpose and other things, so it was an inspiration to see him in such amazing shape and putting on a show alongside boxing superstar Marco Antonio Barrera.

    The Manchester Arena was absolutely buzzing and it was great to be ringside alongside Sammi as we don’t often get to spend nights out together. Either I am away with my work or I am spending some catch-up time at home with the kids so letting our hair down and supporting Ricky was great fun.

    Look forward to seeing you all next week – in person or through the magic of TV – when I head to the Players’ Championship Finals.

    Take care,


    For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.


    • Read the latest darts news from the Daily Star here
    • Darts prodigy, 21, bags sensational nine-darter and leaves Michael van Gerwen speechless
    • Scott Williams pondering drastic outfit change in bid to revive Grand Slam hopes
    • Darts star apologises for 'Stone Cold Steve Austin gesture' after Grand Slam defeat
    • Raymond van Barneveld rolls back years by stunning Gerwyn Price at Grand Slam of Darts
    • Darts
    • Mental Health

    Source: Read Full Article