The Bipolar Education Programme Cymru (BEP-C) programme 

Professor Ian Jones

Background to the Project

Bipolar disorder is a severe mental illness affecting 3% of the population that has a significant impact of individuals and their families. Psychoeducation is an intervention with a strong evidence base that is recommended in NICE and other national and international guidelines. This approach reduces the numbers of episodes, decreases admissions, and improves quality of life, enabling people to live the best life they can.

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.

How this will be achieved

In response to the pandemic, we are therefore collaborating with the key 3rd sector organisation, Bipolar UK, to develop and deliver a cut down 6 session programme delivered virtually via videoconference platforms. Feedback for the initial pilot sessions has been outstanding and we now wish to develop this new, innovative virtually delivered programme further including working to embed it into usual clinical care across all health boards in Wales and beyond. 

Anticipated benefits

Our programme will enable people with lived experience of bipolar disorder to live the best life possible, to develop self management strategies, and to be primed to a true collaborative, co-productive relationship  with the clinicians involved in their care.