Education programme for people with bipolar disorder underway

Wales’ first dedicated educational programme designed to improve the quality of life of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder and their families has been launched.

The Bipolar Education Programme Cymru (BEPCymru) is Wales’s first programme to offer group education for people with bipolar disorder and their families in addition to their regular treatment.

The five-year project, which is funded by a grant of £770, 862 from the Big Lottery Fund’s £15 million Mental Health Matters (MHM) programme, aims to promote the rehabilitation and independence of people with serious mental health problems in Wales and support those at greatest risk of suicide. The evidence-based programme will provide people with bipolar disorder with a greater understanding of their condition and enable them to take personal responsibility for managing their illness.

Dr Ian Jones, from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine and Co-director of BEPCymru, said: “The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has highlighted the need for treatment for bipolar disorder to be combined with other interventions such as psychoeducation in order to gain maximum effect.”

It is hoped that over the five-year lifetime of the programme approximately 1,000 individuals will be helped.

For further information please visit the BEPCymru website at

                                       MOT your mental health in 2010

A million-pound project set up to promote positive mental and emotional health across the boroughs of Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot is urging residents to make a New Year resolution to look after their emotional wellbeing in 2010.

‘Siaradwn Ni – Let’s Talk’ is aimed at working with local voluntary and statutory agencies to promote positive mental and emotional wellbeing, reduce barriers to accessing support, provide training and support people who might be affected by issues such as depression, anxiety or self-harm.

‘Siaradwn Ni – Let’s Talk’ is a five-year project backed by the Big Lottery Fund’s Mental Health Matters grant scheme and is being jointly coordinated by Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations and Neath Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Service. For more information contact the following Siaradwn Ni Coordinators during office hours: Bridgend: Claire Foster, BAVO 01656 810400; Neath Port Talbot: Dave Smith, Neath Port Talbot CVS Tel. 01639 631246.