World bipolar day

World Bipolar Day

World Bipolar Day (WBD) takes place every year on 30 March, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who was posthumously diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. The awareness day is an initiative organised by the International Bipolar Foundation in partnership with the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders. The vision is to bring world awareness to bipolar disorder and to eliminate social stigma, whilst providing information to educate and help people understand the condition.

What is Team Lithium doing on WBD?

We’ll be attending the Bipolar UK Virtual Conference (join us, it’s free!) where we will see the launch of the Bipolar Commission, an exciting new project to improve health care for people living with bipolar. It starts at 1pm and has some really interesting break-out sessions – we’ll obviously be in ‘Bridging the research gap’. We’ll also spend the day tweeting (and retweeting) to raise awareness.

Elsewhere in Team Lithium, we’re currently recruiting to the R-LiNK study, the aim of which is to optimize response to lithium treatment through personalised evaluation of individuals with bipolar I disorder, and so will be spending the first half of WBD preparing for our month 3 visit for our first patient enrolled in the study. The patient started lithium in early January and at month 3 will complete some clinical and physical assessments and undergo a repeat structural MRI (which they had at baseline before starting lithium) to look for structural changes in the brain, as well as a lithium MRI to detect where the lithium is in their brain.

We’re aiming to recruit 20 people with bipolar I disorder to the study over the next 9 months. Patients can be in any mood state, and outpatients and inpatients are eligible alike.

To find out more about the study or to refer a patient, please get in touch with the team:

Jamie Rea, Research Nurse (CNTW) / 07970 993 189

Cat Fletcher, Research Nurse (TEWV)

Carly Flowers, Research Assistant (Newcastle University)

For those using social media to post videos and photographs to help raise awareness of bipolar disorder, you are encouraged to use the hashtags #WorldBipolarDay and #BipolarStrong whilst tagging @intlbipolar on Twitter and Instagram and @InternationalBipolarFoundation on Facebook.

The other major bipolar disorder study running in NCMD currently is the PAX-BD study. For information about this go to: