Stephen Fry talks about bipolar disorder and mental health stigma

Stephen FryStephen Fry has experienced mental health problems for much of his life. But it wasn't until he was 37 that he was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder. "I'd never heard the word before, but for the first time I had a diagnosis that explains the massive highs and miserable lows I've lived with all my life."

During research for his documentary 'The Secret Life of The Manic Depressive', Stephen found out that the illness affects hundreds of thousands of people in the UK. He was also dismayed to discover the extent of prejudice surrounding mental health problems. "I want to speak out, to fight the public stigma and to give a clearer picture of mental illness that most people know little about."

Stephen thinks better public awareness is essential to help people break their silence. "Once the understanding is there, we can all stand up and not be ashamed of ourselves, then it makes the rest of the population realise that we are just like them but with something extra."

Download a poster (PDF) - Stephen Fry: "1in4 people, like me, have a mental health problem. Many more people have a problem with that."

Video: Stephen Fry on mental health stigma

On hearing the good news about our new funding, possibly our most famous supporter Stephen Fry, gives us a special message. He talks about how the Government's funding will help Time to Change to address "the single most important feature of mental health in this country...and that is the mental health, not of those who suffer from some disorder or other, but the mental health of the nation, who for some reason or other, continue to have a view of those who are mentally unwell, which amounts to stigmatising, and stigma it seems to me is the thing we most have to address."

Blogs about Stephen Fry

"But back to those celebrities, in particular, Stephen Fry. He's my favourite 'bipolar poster boy' for a number of reasons" Rebecca blogs about bipolar disorder and whether celebrities speaking out helps >>

"Yesterday, Stephen Fry revealed that in 2012 he had attempted suicide. As the President of Mind and the de facto face of the mental health anti-stigma initiative in the UK, his announcement was a sad but poignant reminder that bipolar, and indeed all mental illness, does not discriminate." Shea blogs about what Stephen Fry speaking out about suicide means to her >>

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