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who we are

The Lothian Bipolar Self-help Group in its current form has been running since 2007 and is open to everyone affected by bipolar including carers, family and friends. We also have a group specifically for young adults aged 18-30 and an online group for carers.

The group has gone from strength to strength and we achieved charitable status in August 2022, which saw the launch of Bipolar Edinburgh. The new charity provides the flexibility to respond to the needs of the local bipolar community.

Bipolar Edinburgh is a peer-led organisation, with all trustees and group facilitators affected by bipolar.

Our community-based self-help groups promote mental wellbeing by providing support and information for everyone affected by bipolar and their carers. We aim to be as inclusive as possible, with people able to attend most meetings in person and online.

In June 2023 we launched our one-to-one Bipolar Peer Support Service in partnership with Penumbra Mental Health. This provides individual support with a paid peer support worker at no cost to the supported person.

We were honoured to receive Volunteer Edinburgh’s Ian McInnes Award in 2023 for creatively, pragmatically and sensibly identifying ways that individuals of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can share their skills and experience to help other people.

In addition, our tireless chair and lead facilitator, Michelle was honoured by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland with the Self-management Champion of the Year 2023 award.

Meetings comprise of an educational component in the first hour followed by a hot drink and chat where everyone has an opportunity to access informal peer support. The educational components are focused on self-management and are provided by health professionals and experts by lived experience.

Information packs are provided for new members and you can watch a short film depicting a typical meeting on our website. We also meet socially between meetings for cinema trips, walks, meals and other activities that members want to do.

We actively encourage participation in research studies, raise awareness of the condition and challenge the stigma associated with bipolar. Access to training in self-management and recovery is available through links with local organisations.

The leadership team is made up of Michelle, Francis and John. We've all received a diagnosis of bipolar, so we understand the challenges and joys of living with the condition.

If you would like to contact the leadership team, please click the button below.

Many people help to make Bipolar Edinburgh and the Lothian Bipolar Self-help Groups supportive and friendly places to be. We are grateful to all of our devoted volunteers and paid workers who, since we formed in 2007, have selflessly contributed their time and energy to help the lives of fellow individuals with bipolar.

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