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Online programme helps beat bipolar disorder

Researchers from Cardiff University’s National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) and the University of Glasgow have worked together to create an online self-management programme for people with bipolar disorder.

The Beatingbipolar.org website aims to improve understanding about the condition and includes a range of advice to help those with the disorder to manage the condition more effectively. It is the first resource of its kind to include interactive material and videos of both patients and professionals discussing the best approaches to long-term management.

Dr Daniel Smith, now of the University of Glasgow, developed the resource in collaboration with Professor Ian Jones and Professor Nick Craddock when working at the NCMH.

Kenneth Lamont, Director of Bipolar Scotland, has tried the programme.  He has had the condition for over thirty years.  He said “I was initially impressed with the simplicity of the site, both in usage and in content. The information given was uncomplicated and jargon free and the site was also very interactive.  Finally, the use of personal lived experience was a good idea, giving the impression, especially to those new to the diagnosis, that the condition CAN be managed, given the potential chaotic symptoms that Bipolar Disorder can reveal.”

Dr Daniel Smith, Reader in Psychiatry, part of The University of Glasgow’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing, said “We think Beating Bipolar is a great introduction to a disorder which can be complicated but which is ultimately manageable.  Within the NHS bipolar disorder tends to miss out on psychosocial treatment approaches so this web-based programme fills an important gap at very low cost.  We are delighted that we have been able to make the programme available for free via the internet and hope that the information and tools provided make it easier for patients and families to manage bipolar disorder more effectively.”

NCMH Director Professor Nick Craddock said “We would like to see all NHS mental health teams recommend Beating Bipolar to those who have been diagnosed with the condition.  However, the programme may also be helpful to friends and family to help them better understand what can often be a challenging condition for everyone involved.”

Read more about Beating Bipolar and our other online tools.

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