Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


The bulk of the money would be used to set up and run a group in Brighton to provide education and ongoing support for people suffering with bipolar disorder. The Royal College of Psychiatrists say that 1.1% of the adult population in the UK has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The extent of those undiagnosed is unknown. On this basis there are over 3,000 adults that have been diagnosed as suffering with bipolar in Brighton & Hove. We also reach out to those that try to support the patient - family, friends, work colleagues and carers. Awareness about the condition is key. Not everybody can cope with the group scenario, our statistics show that 28% of enquires can’t cope so we want to offer 1 to 1 sessions for those that can't cope with the group scenario due to other mental health issues like anxiety.

The mental health services within the NHS are stretched beyond belief with the financial crisis they are currently experiencing. The term “revolving door syndrome” (RDS) describes a subpopulation of chronically mentally ill patients frequently re-admitted to psychiatric units. Patients at higher risk for RDS are more likely to have had previous admissions. They are patients with poor support networks, lower levels of education and challenging social environments. They may also have a tendency towards not taking their prescribed medications thereby significantly contributing to relapse rates. Some are known to self-medicate with drug and/or alcohol often abusing these. Considering the financial and social burden caused by RDS, it is important to understand the factors that may contribute to this phenomenon and to develop interventions that could reduce the prevalence of repeated re-admissions. RDS is apparent with the more chronic mental health conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar. Bipolar is a chronic mental health condition. There is no cure.

Many sufferers are Sectioned under the Mental Health Act and stay in secure units for months at a cost of over £500 per night, some go into hospital on a voluntary basis and others are arrested by the police. Sufferers can be at risk of harming themselves or others. Some take their own lives. There can be issues with alcohol/drug abuse, anger/violence, impulsive and irrational spending and extreme sexual behaviour. Bipolar can cause the break-up of relationships, families, loss of jobs, homes and bankruptcy. We provide the education and support for them to learn how to manage their symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life. With the continuing austerity measures and financial crisis, the health service cannot cope. We need to run more community based groups.

We have developed an extensive education programme and developed a system to monitor how many times our group members used NHS services and/or were arrested by the police due to their bipolar so we could measure the drop in the use of these services and calculate the savings achieved. We also measured how much of our programme they learned again using our form ‘The Bipolar Circle’ which represents the 12 chapters of the educational programme. We keep attendance records and introduced a measure of improvement, or otherwise, in their moods during sessions. From time to time we also ask for feedback. The sessions have been very successful.

Project Video

Managing-Bipolar C.I.C.

Moment of Pride

We’ve educated & supported 200+ beneficiaries & their supporters. We’ve trained some as Peer Mentors and Facilitators who help run the organisation. They now have a purpose in life having regained their self-esteem/confidence. They have gone from feeling useless to being useful community members.

Location: Brighton