New online programme helps beat bipolar disorder
Published: 15 August 2013
A new online self-management programme to help those suffering from bipolar disorder has just been made freely available to the public
A new online self-management programme to help those suffering from bipolar disorder has just been made freely available to the public. It was developed by Dr Daniel Smith, University of Glasgow, and colleagues at Cardiff University’s National Centre for Mental Health.
Beatingbipolar.org aims to improve understanding about the condition and includes a wide range of advice to help those with the disorder manage it more effectively. It is the first of its kind to include interactive material and videos of both patients and professionals discussing the best approaches to long-term management.
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.”
Professor Nick Craddock, Director of the National Centre for Mental Health at Cardiff University, 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.”
Find out more
Beating Bipolar was developed as part of a postdoctoral fellowship to Dr Smith by the National Institute of Health Research and with funding from the Big lottery Fund.
To find out more, go to http://www.beatingbipolar.org/ and sign up.
Poole, R., Simpson, S.A, Smith, D.J. (2012) Internet-based psychoeducation for bipolar disorder: feasibility, acceptability and impact. BMC Psychiatry, 12(1):139.
Smith, D.J., Griffiths, E., Poole, R., DiFlorio, A., Barnes, E., Kelly, M., Craddock, N., Hood, K., Simpson, S.A. (2011) Beating Bipolar: exploratory trial of a novel internet-based psychoeducational treatment for bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorders, 13(5-6), 571-577.
Barnes, E., Simpson, S.A., Smith, D.J. (2011) Developing an online psychoeducation package for bipolar disorder. Journal of Mental Health, 20(1), 21-31.
First published: 15 August 2013