Bipolar education programme wins prestigious award

A groundbreaking education programme for people with bipolar disorder developed by members of the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) team has won a prestigious innovation prize at the BMJ awards.

Bipolar Education Programme Cymru (BEPC) received the trophy for Innovation in Healthcare at a ceremony in London last week.

The 6th annual BMJ awards were judged by a panel including senior representatives from the royal colleges and the NHS, as well as leading UK clinicians and academics.

The awards recognise and celebrate inspirational work done by medical professionals and their teams across the UK.

“We are absolutely delighted to have won this prize” said NCMH Director Professor Ian Jones. “The quality of the other nominees on the shortlist was extremely high, so it’s a real honour to accept the award.”

Professor Ian Jones, and former NCMH director Professor Nick Craddock developed the Big Lottery funded education programme alongside colleagues from the Mood Disorders group at Cardiff University and Dr Danny Smith, now of the University of Glasgow.

BEPC is a psychoeducation course designed to teach people with bipolar disorder more about their condition, and equip them with the tools they need to help manage their illness.

More than 3500 people have benefitted from BEPC and its online counterpart Beating Bipolar since its launch five years ago, with courses taking place all over Wales and beyond.

Professor Jones said: “Everyone involved with BEPC has worked tirelessly to develop this programme, and we intend to keep improving it so that more people with bipolar disorder can benefit from it and hopefully enjoy a better quality of life.”

To find out more about BEPC including upcoming courses in your area and how to book a place, visit www.ncmh.info/bepcymru.

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