Hi, my name is Andy Bishop, I have lived with a disgnosis of Bipolar Affective Disorder since 2008 when I was a serving soldier in the Royal Engineers.
Because of my job and a stigma that I created I refused to accept that I was not well.
This led to me doing what a lot of men do and bottling everything up.
Along with my uniform, I wore a mask to cover the chink in my armour.
I only ever displayed two emotions -angry or happy.
This led to a suicide attempt shortly after leaving the service.
I discovered, by accident, that ’it’s not weak to speak’ and that by talking about what troubles us we can tame the black dog.
In October 2019 I set up the ’ManGang’ which is a free peer support group for men. We provide a safe space for men to talk about their problems, issues and concerns whatever they may be in a no judgemental environment.
To date we have helped over 200 men from all walks of life come to terms with and cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life.