Bipolar Education Programme Cymru, or BEPCymru, is a psychoeducation programme for people in Wales with bipolar disorder. The programme has been developed by Professor Nick Craddock, Professor Ian Jones, Dr Danny Smith and the Mood Disorders group at Cardiff University with feedback from course participants and was formerly funded by the Big Lottery.
BEPCymru consists of group sessions and online interactive modules, and aims to improve participants’ understanding of bipolar disorder as well as providing benefits in terms of quality of life through an improvement of symptoms experienced.
So far, BEPCymru courses have taken place in Aberdare, Barry, Brecon, Cardiff, Carmarthen, Newport, Port Talbot and Swansea in the South of Wales and Bangor, Caernarfon, Denbigh, Llangefni, Llandudno and Wrexham in the North.
BEPCymru Beyond Wales
The BEPCymru model has been adopted by psychoeducation groups across the UK and beyond. At least 10 NHS trusts have run similar courses in England (e.g. Leicester, Devon, Oxford, Hereford, West London, Tees Esk and Wear, Brent), as well as 3 trusts in Northern Ireland (Northern Health and Social Care Trust, South Eastern Trust, Belfast Trust) and 1 in Scotland (NHS Forth Valley). A number of health providers abroad (e.g. New Zealand, Netherlands, Turkey) also use a similar model.
Over the next year we aim to hold courses in other areas throughout Wales. If you are interested in taking part in a BEPCymru course, please contact us using the form on this page.
What is Psychoeducation?
“Psychoeducation” for bipolar disorder is an approach that helps people to understand their illness, learn to recognise early warning signs of highs and lows and develop the skills needed to stay as well as possible. There is evidence that psychoeducation works and we believe it should be more widely available.
Award winning bipolar education
In May 2014, BEPCymru was awarded the Innovation in Healthcare prize at the 6th annual BMJ awards, which recognise and celebrate inspirational work done by medical professionals and their teams across the UK. Read more about the awards in our news section.