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NCMH mental health education team nominated for sustainability award

Researchers and staff at the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) are among the nominees to win Psychiatric Team of the Year at the RCPsych Awards 2021.

In the Outstanding Commitment to Sustainability/Green Care category, the NCMH’s mental health education team’s work in adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic have been recognised by the prestigious annual awards.

The team’s efforts ‘Adapting the Bipolar Education Programme Cymru (BEPC) to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic’, moved BEP-C sessions online, continuing to support those diagnosed with bipolar disorder in lockdown, as well as substantially reducing its carbon footprint.

The move also increased accessibility for the session to people living across the UK for the first time.

A collaborative effort

The Cardiff team partnered with the charity Bipolar UK to run online taster sessions to give people a flavour of the full course and to raise awareness of resources for people with bipolar disorder during the pandemic.

Screengrab of a Zoom video call with people waving

NCMH Director Professor Ian Jones (pictured top left) said, “We’re delighted that all the work of the BEPC team has been recognised by being shortlisted for this award. People with bipolar disorder have had to deal with huge challenges during the pandemic.

We’ve worked with those with lived experience and Bipolar UK to adapt our psychoeducation programme to be delivered virtually and this is really making a difference. Whether we win the award or not, it’s great to be shortlisted.


The award recognises work done by healthcare professionals that demonstrates an understanding of the connection between health and the environment, with aims to improve the sustainability of mental health care.


The pandemic and its impact on education

The coronavirus pandemic has presented specific challenges to those living with bipolar disorder, including barriers to accessing support.

Feedback reported that 81.3% of participants found it more difficult to manage their condition during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project is aimed at people with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and, through education of the disorder and discussion of the importance of lifestyle and self-management techniques, the BEPC course and webinars hope to assist people to better manage their disorder and reduce the likelihood of episodes of illness, in addition to empowering loved ones to help support those directly affected by bipolar.

This year’s virtual awards ceremony will take place on 11 November.

All of us at NCMH wish the team the very best of luck!

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Mike Owen

Mike is the Communications Officer for NCMH and the Division of Psychological Medicine at Cardiff University.

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