Bipolar UK is delighted to have supported a research programme from Lancaster University, exploring the effectiveness of a toolkit to support family member and friends of individuals affected by bipolar.

Bipolar UK supports the new REACT study

Researchers, clinicians and family members from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Lancaster University, Liverpool University and University College London are developing an online toolkit called REACT. REACT, or the Relatives' Education and Coping Toolkit, contains information, coping strategies and personal stories to support family members and friends impacted by bipolar.

The website will also put family members and friends in contact with a REACT Supporter, someone trained and with personal experience of caring for someone with bipolar. The REACT Supporter can provide extra support and will monitor the website during office hours. An online forum, REACT Group, also lets family members and friends talk to other individuals in a similar position.

The new research study will test the effectiveness of REACT for reducing distress and improving the wellbeing of family and friends of individuals affected by psychosis or bipolar.

Over the last nine months, the REACT study has been growing rapidly and now involves almost 400 family members and friends. The success of the study is being discussed in key university, health and political arenas, where there's a lot of excitement about the potential of the online toolkit.

The research team are looking for relatives and friends of individuals with bipolar to take part in the study. Participants must be over 16 and living in the UK. You'll also need to have access to the internet and be willing to use the REACT website and toolkit.

For more information visit the REACT study website.