On the day of the virtual conference you will be asked to select a break-out session to attend. Here are the details of each workshop:

Bipolar Basics - Everything You Need to Know

Speaker; Professor Ian Jones (Director/Clinical Professor, National Centre for Mental Health)

Prof Ian Jones from Cardiff University will focus on self-management and the facts you need to know about bipolar, especially if you are new to the condition.

Bridging the Research Gap

Panel: Professor Hamish McAllister-Williams (Professor of Affective Disorders, Newcastle University) and Dr Stuart Watson (Academic Clinical Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University), Emma Belle (Bipolar UK Ambassador) and Robert Westhead (former Bipolar UK Trustee)

In this session, Prof Hamish McAllister-Williams and Dr Stuart Watson will focus on drug treatment. They will be supported by former Bipolar UK Trustee Robert Westhead who will talk about his experience of participating in clinical trials. Expect Hamish and Stuart to review the available treatment options and to check out whether their understanding of current research needs accords with the view of Bipolar UK members. They will also talk about current ongoing clinical trials, including PAX-BD which is looking to see whether the apparent positive impact of a drug called pramipexole holds up in a large clinical trial. Emma will be chairing the Q&A with questions coming from the audience.

Employment and Bipolar: Work and Disclosure

Panel: Lucy Hassall, (Peer Support Officer: Work and Learning & eCommunity Moderator, Bipolar UK), Leah Milner (Financial and
Mental Health Journalist)

In this session Lucy Hassall (Peer Support Officer for Work and Learning) and freelance financial and mental health journalist Leah
Milner will be talking about workplace disclosure of bipolar and other health conditions. In the session they will include a questions and
answers segment at the end where the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions about disclosure. Leah has been covering money and consumer issues for more than a decade and has also written about her bipolar diagnosis and the financial impact this has on her personally.

Experiences of Bipolar in Black and Minority Ethnic Communities

Panel: Leah Charles-King (Bipolar UK Ambassador), Dr Marvin Iroegbu (psychologist), Charlie Aretuemhen (founder of LCPMOVEMENT and men’s lead for Sakura Well-being)  Georgina Bobb (TV presenter), Nash Momori (Founder of Diversity Radio), Marsha Antoine (Mental Health Social Worker) and Mischa Nelson (Media Agency Founder)

This interactive forum, chaired by Leah Charles-King, will feature a cross section of panellists who will explore the stigma that exists within the Black community and other ethnic minority groups.

Experiences of Bipolar in the LGBTQ+ Community

Panel: April Kelley (Bipolar UK Ambassador), Jonny Benjamin. MBE (Mental health campaigner), Carrie Lyell (Editor DIVA Magazine) and Adrian Garcia (Mental Health Campaigner)

Sexuality and bipolar disorder are both on a spectrum and sometimes these collide for better or for worse which will be explored with Jonny Benjamin, Carrie Lyell and Adrian Garcia and hosted by Bipolar UK Ambassador April Kelley, a bisexual woman who considers herself a Mighty Bi-Bi.

Getting a Diagnosis

Panel: Professor Guy Goodwin (Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, Oxford University), Luyando Malawo (Bipolar UK Ambassador)

The session will address the delays and difficulties that prevent early diagnosis of bipolar disorder. It will be addressed from the point of view of patient and doctor and presented as an interactive discussion between Luyando Malawo and Prof Guy Goodwin.

Men and Bipolar

Panel: Dean Clarke (Bipolar UK Ambassador), Dr Karine Macritchie (Consultant Lead Psychiatrist) and Samantha Rickwood (Senior Nurse) OPTIMA Mood Disorder Service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Join Lead Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Karine Macritchie and Senior Nurse Samantha Rickwood from OPTIMA at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust to learn more about how bipolar affects men. They will be joined by Bipolar UK Ambassador Dean Clarke who will discuss stigma and how it can be a barrier to men seeking help. Dean shares his journey of what life was like living with bipolar up until his diagnosis, living with bipolar now and how his mental health improved once he broke down his own personal stigma.

The Needs of Young People and Their Families When Living with Bipolar

Panel: Dr Aditya Sharma (Clinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry), Dr Lynn Baron-Millar(Research Associate, Newcastle University) Nicky Chinn (Bipolar UK Ambassador)

The session will initially focus on the experience of a family living with bipolar combined with data from research collected using in-depth interviews. The session will provide perspectives on the journey of families supporting young people being assessed for bipolar by separating this into: life before diagnosis, around the time of diagnosis and after the diagnosis.

Before diagnosis families recognised that there were some symptoms but ot knowing these symptoms were due to bipolar could make it difficult to cope. Around the time of diagnosis, families experienced surprise and relief, however there was often strain on family relationships, particularly between the young people with BD and their siblings. After diagnosis, families were most concerned about the young person’s transition from child to adult services and often had negative experiences of this transition. Songwriter Nicky Chinn will also discuss his experience of bipolar disorder, particularly his diagnosis at 16 in 1961.

Suicide Prevention: supporting a loved-one

Panel: Mohini Morris (Bipolar UK Trustee), Sarah Skelton (Head of Programme Development at Papyrus-Prevention of Young Suicide)

Sarah Skelton from PAPRYUS and Bipolar UK Trustee Mohini Morris will be talking about the work of PAPYRUS and on issues relating to suicide and self-harm in young people. The focus will be on how to support a loved one who is experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Women and Bipolar

Panel: Dr Clare Dolman (Patient and Public Involvement Lead, Section of Women's Mental Health, King's College London), Natasha Naomi Rea (Bipolar UK Ambassador)

Dr Clare Dolman from King’s College London will be focusing on the impact of pregnancy, postpartum and menopause, and she’ll be joined by Bipolar UK Ambassador and actor Natasha Naomi Rea, who is a parent living with bipolar

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