top of page

individual peer support service

1:1 peer support for adults living with bipolar in Edinburgh

Bipolar Edinburgh offers a range of services to support people living with bipolar together with their family, friends & supporters. Peer support groups have been running successfully for over 12 years and Bipolar Edinburgh is now delighted to offer 1:1 peer support for adults with a bipolar diagnosis living in Edinburgh initially, hoping to extend to all the Lothians in future.

The service adopts the ‘recovery model’ which means that people living with mental health issues have a right to stay in control of and make decisions about their own lives. The recovery journey can have its ups and downs, but everyone at Bipolar Edinburgh believes that it is possible to live a good life with bipolar.

Our peer workers have been trained to deliver peer support and they all live with bipolar, so they understand many of the challenges you face.

The service addresses four types of support needs:

• Emotional: feeling reassured you are not alone

• Informational: understanding bipolar better

• Practical: lifestyle changes to improve your quality of life

• Social: connecting you with your communities

What is peer support?

Peer support involves our peer workers sharing their experiences of living with mental health issues to show that recovery is possible. Bipolar Edinburgh’s peer workers meet you one-to-one and establish a trusting and supportive relationship.

Bipolar Edinburgh aims to help you take control of your life and help you to build resilience, despite continuing to experience mental health symptoms. Living in recovery means being able to live a good life, as we each define, with or without symptoms. At its heart, recovery involves focusing on what we can do, rather than on what we cannot do.

Peer support complements mental health services provided by the NHS, other agencies and third-sector organisations.

Who can access the service?

If you are an adult with a bipolar or cyclothymia diagnosis and live in the City of Edinburgh you are able to access the service. Depending on funding, the service will become more widely available in the future.

How can you access the service?

You can self-refer or find out more by following the link at the bottom of this page.

Please note the Individual Peer Support Service is not a crisis service. (For a list of crisis services click here.)

How does the service work?

You can access the service by completing the self-referral link at the bottom of this page. There may be a short waiting period, but once your referral has been accepted, you will be entitled to up to 12 sessions with a peer worker.

At the first session, the peer worker will ask you to provide some information about yourself. The peer worker will talk you through what you want to achieve during your time together. You will jointly draw up a plan which lists your desired outcomes, what you can do and what support you need.

Sessions will be arranged at mutually convenient times and can take place in-person, over the phone or via online meetings. The peer worker will listen to your story, where appropriate share their own experience and talk about other issues you may want to discuss. The peer worker can provide information, signpost you to relevant partner services and help you to problem-solve any specific concerns you might have.

One of the key aims of the service is to (re)connect people with their support networks and communities. You may want help to leave your home for the first time in a while, to visit a library or leisure centre, or just to go for a coffee and a chat.

By the final session, we hope that you will be on your way to achieving the goals that you identified in the first session. The peer worker will review progress with you and discuss next steps. An anonymous feedback form will be given to you for you to complete and return to Penumbra’s office.

How much does it cost?

This service is provided by Bipolar Edinburgh free-of-charge.


In order to make the service available to as many people as possible and improve outcomes, there are a few expectations of you. At the first session, you will be asked to agree to:

• Actively engage with the service

• Turn up to all appointments on time or cancel at least 24 hours before a session

• Treat our peer workers with respect

How to apply

If you feel you would benefit from individual support, then we'd love to hear from you.

To know more, please use the link below:

Our individual peer support service is currently only available within the City of Edinburgh.

bottom of page