FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions PSOZ – peer support on zoom

Is a remote session right for me?

We appreciate that not everyone is familiar with technology, nor has access to the right kit. Therefore, please do not feel pressured to access this service – we have a number of other support services while face to face groups are suspended:

  • The eCommunity – our online peer forum – eCommunity
  • Peer Support Line – our call back service- 07591375544 or email
  • Website with downloadable resources bipolaruk.org
  • Chatbot which can be found on our website 

Read this interview with one of our pioneering zoom group volunteers.

My face-to-face group is currently on hold I would benefit from a remote session, but not sure if we have any locally?

We are setting up more online groups over the next few weeks and currently have offers in several areas to find out more email us here. Putting the name of your regular group and updates on zoom in the subject title. 

We aim to respond to messages in 3 working days, however during busy periods this may take slightly longer. 

How do I join a national or local meeting?

You can join a national or local zoom meeting by emailing [email protected] with your preferred option(s). You may want to do both we are happy if you do.

Do zoom meetings cost attendees anything?

Bipolar UK make no charge for participants in either our face to face groups or online ones. If participants wish to make a donation, please visit our website.

Can we use Bipolar UK’s zoom account?

Bipolar UK peer support zoom accounts are for volunteer use only. We aim to schedule a meetings calendar in order to enable more groups to access the Bipolar UK accounts.  

Do I need a zoom account?

You do not have to have a zoom account to attend a zoom meeting. You will be prompted to download the software, once you have clicked on the link in your invitation. You may also wish to create an account, but that is optional, you can take part via your browser. You should be comfortable with zoom as a platform and happy with their privacy and security notice before agreement to join a Bipolar UK zoom session.  Details can be found here https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/privacy-and-security.html 

Please see the System Requirements at the following URL to ensure that you are ready to go: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362023-System-requirements-for-Windows-macOS-and-Linux

To join a meeting

Five minutes before the time in your invitation:

  1. Click on the link provided in the email 
  2. Download the zoom Desktop Client. Follow the prompts to download the correct zoom desktop client for your computer and operating system. Your zoom Desktop Client will download.
  3. You will then need to install the client. Note that you may also download clients for IOS and Android devices. Once you have downloaded the desktop client, you can now join the meeting.
  4. You may have to click on the link again in the email to connect to the meeting, once you have installed the client. The zoom desktop icon looks like the blue image above

Please review the following additional support documents available at the following URLs: Zoom US and Zoom support.

Can the host or anyone participating record a session?

No meeting should be recorded by anyone. If a recording is taking place a red light appears at the top of the screen. Bipolar UK do not authorise or make their own recordings.  

Can you access a meeting via phone audio if you have no computer?

Yes you can, you will be admitted to the group similarly to people using a computer or tablet. Please check you have the correct phone number.

What privacy and confidentiality is there?

Bipolar UK take privacy and confidentiality seriously you should visit our privacy policy here. We also request that when signing into a Bipolar UK remote meeting you do not share your surname and only first name. We also request you do not have visible items in your video background which can identify you or friends and family members to protect their privacy.

Do you remove anyone from meetings needing more support?

Not necessarily it depends on the person’s presenting needs.

Bipolar UK will offer support in a 1-1 using the chat function or a breakout room where a host and co-host are present. If we feel the forum is not suitable and the person would benefit from more support off-line via their mental health team, crisis team or emergency services we will recommend they seek immediate local help. A list of crisis numbers are provided with the meeting invitation email.

What if a person is abusive or looks to have “bombed” into a zoom meeting?

We are aware people have sought meetings to disrupt. Since the addition of waiting rooms and passwords, zoom have taken steps to reduce this option. We will only send to closed invite list and will use the remove function if we are concerned about a person(s) behaviour. We are not publicly advertising our zoom meeting details.

Bipolar UK reserve the right to refuse entry and to not work with people within our face-to-face groups or online who are abusive.

Can I attend regular meetings?

Yes you are welcome to attend online meetings and face-to-face meetings when running more than once and we encourage you to do so.  Please request you are added to the mailing list after your first meeting. Find out more here peer support groups.