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."