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Bevan Exemplar Cohort 7 Projects

Psychoeducation Programmes for Bipolar Disorder

John Tredget

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Bipolar disorder is thought to directly affect approximately 5% of the population, the equivalent to 3.4 million people in the UK. It can be a serious and enduring mental health condition with high morbidity and mortality,

Presentations include symptoms consistent with depressed or elevated mood but can vary hugely between people, although there can also be many similarities.

The burden of bipolar disorder can be significant, impacting on personal, family, social and employment activities with a UK economic cost estimated at £6.4 billion annually  through lost productivity, informal care and health and social care (Costs of bipolar disorder in the UK, Simon et al, 2021).

Psychoeducation is recognised by NICE and SIGN guidelines as being beneficial for bipolar disorder through reduction of symptoms, reduced number of relapses, increased periods of remission and improved wellbeing. However, implementation appears to be low and geographically variable.

The Project:

The Bipolar Education Programme Cymru (BEP-C) programme ( ) is an evidence based psychoeducation intervention for people with lived experience of bipolar disorder. In response to COVID we have piloted a cut down version  delivered virtually with excellent feedback. We now want to develop this programme  further and roll it out more widely. BEP-C is a 10 session group psychoeducation programme for people with lived experience of bipolar disorder that we have developed in Wales and delivered to over 800 people to date. COVID-19 has meant we are not able to deliver the groups as usual face to face but has also resulted in specific challenges to people with bipolar which means the intervention is more required than ever.

Project Outcomes:

  • Booster sessions attended by 76 participants
  • Five “Bitesize” BEPC webinars attended by 350 people and subsequently viewed 3,300 times online
  • 11 eBEPC courses delivered with 53 participants
  • Two 45 minute training programmes for clinicians to deliver the BEPC and eBEPC programmes completed in conjunction with Virtual College. These are now due to be uploaded on the NHS ESR platform.

Project Impact:

  • 86% of eBEPC respondents (n=42) stated they had learned new information and better ways to manage bipolar disorder.
  • 95% stated they were satisfied or highly satisfied with the programme.
  • 100% would recommend the programme to others with bipolar disorder.

View the project poster and slides from the Cohort 7 Exemplar Showcase