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Launch of Bipolar: The Essential Guide

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) has joined forces with Bipolar Scotland and the University of Glasgow to launch a new essential guide for mental health staff and patients diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. 

NHSGGC is the first Board to distribute the new ‘Bipolar: Essential Guide’ to all mental health staff as part of Scottish Bipolar Awareness Week (19 – 25 September). 

Theessential guide has been written to combat the fear and misunderstanding which often surrounds Bipolar Disorder, by providing individuals and their families with clear and accessible information from the outset. It will empower patients to interact effectively with mental health professionals on the basis of shared understanding and knowledge. 

The alarming figures below have been released by Bipolar Scotland as part of Scottish Bipolar Awareness week: 

  • 2-3% of Scotland’s population live with Bipolar Disorder - symptoms can include extreme mood swings, insomnia, excessive energy, unusually rapid thoughts/ideas and profound depression. 
  • 25-50%of all Scots with Bipolar Disorder will attempt suicide at least once during their lifetime and individuals with Bipolar Disorder are 20-30 times more likely to die by suicide than the population at large.
  • Scots with Bipolar Disorder generally die 10-15 years before their fellow citizens.
  • Many individuals with bipolar disorder experience a delay in diagnosis of up to ten years before receiving the correct treatment. 

The 2003 Mental Health Act placed Scotland at the forefront of enlightened and progressive treatment of mental illness and this new guide continues this trend by emphasising the needs and interests of individual patients and their families. 

Alison Cairns (Bipolar Scotland Chief Executive) said: “We’re delighted to be able to launch Bipolar: The Essential Guide for Scottish Bipolar Awareness Week 2016. 

“This booklet has been a long time coming and to finally see it in print is fantastic!  People will receive The Essential Guide as soon as they’re diagnosed and it will help to answer the 101 questions that’ll come to them as soon as they leave the Doctor’s surgery – it will resolve a lot of anxieties straightaway and really help people come to terms with their diagnosis.”  

Dr Donald Lyons, NHSGGC Board Member and former Chief Executive of the Mental Welfare Commission and advisor on the guide, added: “I am proud to be associated with this publication. 

“It gives people who have been diagnosed with bipolar illness a well-rounded guide to what they can do to manage their own difficulties. Alongside this, we have given some information on what medical treatments may help. 

“But what matters most is this: what works for you. We hope this helps.” 

The Essential Guide will be an integral part of a new Bipolar Disorder Care Pathway under development within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clydein collaboration with academic experts from the University of Glasgow (Professor Daniel Smith, Professor of Psychiatry and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist).  This Care Pathway will focus on delivering world-class, evidence-based approaches to individuals with Bipolar Disorder and their families. 

The Essential Guide was written by Bipolar Scotland staff and members in partnership with Dr Donald Lyons, former Chief Executive of the Mental Welfare Commission and its publication supported by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde– it will equip patients with invaluable information to understand their condition, manage it effectively and enhance their quality of life.  



For more information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected] 


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Last Updated: 11 November 2021