Bipolar-Academy

We provide evidence-based patient information for people suffering from bipolar disorders (manic-depressive disorders).

The problem we aim to solve:

The daily fear of stigmatization as well as feelings of guilt and shame that accompany the majority of bipolar individuals make it hard for them to seek help. Socio-economic deficits and insufficient mental health care structures are further barriers to be overcome by those seeking help.

The solution our project offers:

Bipolar-Academy.com is a web and app based platform which provides multi-media psycho-education. It can be accessed by anyone from anywhere at any time. Psycho-education fosters a better understanding and consciousness for how to live a healthier life with a mental disorder: “patient empowerment”.

The impact our project had so far:

The Bipolar-Academy currently supports 900+ individuals via web, app and social media.

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Who is behind this project?

We love community engagement: The more you interact, the more stars you get! (E.g.: Write a comment, publish a project or apply for a need)

About the project

The mission of the Bipolar-Academy is it to provide fundamental understanding about bipolar disorders, as well as to fight social stigmas. In order to realize our agenda, we stick to one simple mantra:

“To Understand Means Understanding.”

Bipolar-Academy

We teamed up with the Outpatient Clinic for Bipolar Affective Disorders of the Medical University of Graz. Together and with great care we worked out a multimedia concept of how to design psycho-educative content capable of addressing the quiet inhomogeneous group of bipolar individuals. The result is the Bipolar-Academy platform and its eight animation videos:

  • About the Bipolar Disorder
  • For Family-Members & Friends
  • Causes of the Bipolar Disorder
  • Psycho- & Pharmacotherapy
  • Symptoms & Diagnoses
  • Early Warning Signs & Mood-Changes
  • Stress & Recreation
  • Healthy Sleeping Habits

accompanied by in depth textual information.

Available for Everyone and Available Everywhere

The Bipolar-Academy is a web and app-based platform which provides easy to understand evidence-based psycho-educative content of highest quality. The Bipolar-Academy can be accessed from everywhere at every time: at home, in a familiar environment and thus in complete privacy. It is compliant to the strict European and Austrian data protection acts and does not collect any data, except the login credentials.

In short: the inhibition threshold to consume content from the Bipolar-Academy is as low as it gets.

The Bipolar-Academy cannot and is not intended to replace traditional psycho-educative settings, but it is a valuable asset designed to accompany and complement classical setups. It is preferable that confidants, i.e. family-members, close friends and other informal caregivers, join bipolar individuals on professional psycho-educative sessions in order to learn how to support the bipolar person as well as possible. The fear of stigmatization as well as feelings of guilt and shame  not only to be overcome by bipolar individuals, but also by their confidants. Finally, due to insufficient mental health care structures. A professional psycho-educative setup is often  not available everywhere  24/7.

Fight Social Stigma and Improve Awareness

In order to counter social stigmatization, the Bipolar-Academy is an official partner of World Bipolar Day and started a Social-Media-Campaign on the Bipolar-Academy’s Social-Media-Channel. To increase public awareness about the bipolar disorder  we also conducted an interview with local media in combination with the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) for the communal radio news. We also have been able to trigger numerous informative articles in various newspapers.

What is the Bipolar Disorder All About?

The bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes episodes of (hypo-)mania, i.e. a pathologically elevated mood, and episodes of depression. The name “bipolar disorder” was introduced in the USA in order to differentiate  from stereotyped ideas about manic-depressive disorders à la Hollywood.

Who is Affected?

People from all strata of society, independent of age, sex and location can be  affected. It is estimated that the global prevalence of bipolar disorder(s) is between 1 and 2% and has been said to be as high as 5%. According to the World Health Organization, bipolar disorder is the 6th leading cause of disability in the world.

What are the Causes of Bipolar Disorders?

The exact reasons for the genesis of bipolar disorders are not yet known . Biological vulnerability is a major component, but on its own, still not enough to be a singular catalyst. Bipolar individuals also tend to be more sensible to environmental influences like stress. The most probable trigger for the disorder is a combination of multiple factors .  For this reason the bipolar disorder is explained in regular psycho-education by the three-part vulnerability-stress-model:

  • a biological vulnerability
  • acute circumstances (acute stress & strains)
  • permanent burdens (permanent stress)

Why is Psycho-Education Important?

Psycho-education  gives bipolar individuals better understanding of their disease. Psycho-education helps them to replace dysfunctional and irrational concepts of the disorder by an evidence-based bio-psycho-social understanding. This understanding makes psychotherapeutic and pharmaceutic interventions more transparent, which may result in an increased adherence to the treatment.

"Psychoeducation should be routinely offered to individuals with psychotic disorders (including schizophrenia) and bipolar disorder and their family members/caregivers.“

World Health Organziation

Psycho-education encourages bipolar people to explore their individual warning signs for mania and depression, thus improving  their capabilities of  distinguishing normal from pathological fluctuations of the mood. Overall, psycho-education is intended to increase a bipolar person’s competences and confidence in health self-management and to foster patient empowerment.

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We would like to translate the videos as well as the in depth textual information and make the [Bipolar-Academy](http:/…

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