A BIPOLAR therapy programme on offer to Silhillians has been shortlisted for a top award.
Mood on Track, a psychological therapy provided by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s (BSMHFT) Bipolar Service is in line for a Health Service Jounal Digital Award in the Improving mental health through digital category.
The therapy consists of group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions (CBT), plus individual relapse prevention for those diagnosed with bipolar disorder to improve symptoms, enhance recovery and reduce relapse and hospitalisations.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the restrictions meant that it was difficult, and at times impossible, to offer group therapies in person, so the Bipolar Service team re-designed its approach and changed the Mood on Track programme to an online platform, allowing people to continue regular therapy and access support.
The team helped service users to familiarise themselves with video meetings and refurbished laptops and SIM cards were provided to those who did not have the means to purchase one.
BSMHFT say since its digital shift, the programme has increased accessibility across the region and people who previously found it difficult to access face-to-face interventions have been able to attend, allowing the team to reach many more people.
One service user said: “Zoom meetings allowed me to be comfortable in my own environment and if and when needed to step away, I didn’t feel that it was a ‘scene’.”
Training videos on how to effectively deliver online therapy sessions have been created by the Bipolar team, enabling other NHS clinicians to increase understanding and develop confidence in the delivery of remote intervention.
Dr Sunny Kalsy-Lillico, Chief Psychologist at BSMHFT and chair of psychological professions network midlands, said: “This is a fantastic programme of work, one that other areas in the country are seeking to replicate.
“The team has been able to demonstrate how we can reach out to a broader community of service users through this programme.”
BSMHFT’s Bipolar Service currently looks after over 300 people with significant mood fluctuations associated with a bipolar diagnosis.
The HSJ Digital Awards ceremony will take place on June 22 in Manchester.