New online centre for bipolar disorder sufferers

Friday 27 March 2015

A screenshot of the Bipolar Wellness Centre website.

As part of World Bipolar Day on 30 March, the world’s first online wellness centre for people with bipolar disorder is being launched.

Bipolar disorder is a condition characterised by abnormal highs and lows in mood, which can be disabling. It is a highly stigmatised condition that affects one per cent of the world’s population and half a million people in Australia.

Professor Greg Murray, Deputy Director of the Brain and Psychological Sciences Centre at Swinburne University of Technology, together with his colleague from the University of British Columbia, Dr Erin Michalak, have drawn on years of research to develop the Bipolar Wellness Centre.

“Based on 10 years of research, we’ve discovered what people with bipolar disorder can do to self-manage their condition”,” said Professor Murray.

Professor Murray and Dr Michalak are co-directors of CREST. BD, an international research network that works closely with people who live with bipolar disorder and the healthcare providers, family members and communities who support them.

“CREST. BD has launched this online tool to really support self-management in people with bipolar disorder, and empower them to manage and improve their health and quality of life,” said Professor Murray.

Through the quality of life (QoL) questionnaire on the website, participants can answer questions about sleep, mood, self-esteem, identity and relationships, and learn how to take action to improve wellbeing in these areas.

All the information on the website is evidence-based and features a range of interactive resources such as apps, webinars, videos, events and workshops. There is also information for healthcare providers.

Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the wellness centre was designed in full consultation with people who live with bipolar disorder, clinicians and researchers.

“We’re looking forward to the Bipolar Wellness Centre having a big impact on the quality of life of people who live with bipolar disorder,” said Professor Murray.

“It also has the potential to shape the direction of bipolar research, and to de-stigmatise the condition."

The website will be launched in North America on Monday 30 March and in Australia on Tuesday 31 March.