Lancaster University

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Lancaster University's Spectrum Centre Launch Conference

12/01/2008 09:08:07

Richard Bentall and Peter Kinderman , recently on BBC 2’s Horizon: How Mad Are You? A two-part show on a mental health/social experiment, will be speaking at the launch conference of Lancaster University’s Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research.

The conference, ‘Developing better psychological interventions for bipolar disorder’, will be held on Tuesday 9th December 2008 in the Conference Centre and features presentations from key figures in bipolar research including Richard Bentall, University of Wales, Bangor; Michael Grinter, MDF The Bipolar Organisation; Peter Kinderman, University of Liverpool, Matthias Schwanneur, University of Edinburgh, Tim Rawcliffe, Service User Development Officer, MHRN NW; and Steven Jones, the Spectrum Centre, Lancaster University.

The new £3m Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research is the only research centre in the UK dedicated to psychosocial research into bipolar disorder– the little understood and distressing mental health problem associated with experiences of recurrent periods of depression and mania.

The Centre has recently been awarded a £2m grant by the National Institute for Health Research in its first major award for research into bipolar disorder. The PARADES programme will run over 5 years in collaboration with Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, Nottingham and Manchester Universities.

The main focus of work in the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research will be on developing psychological treatments (including cognitive therapy) to facilitate recovery and improve relapse prevention for individuals with bipolar disorder. The Spectrum Centre also plans to employ its strong links with the NHS to inform and improve services for people with this diagnosis. This work has the potential to impact on both the financial cost (estimated at £200m per year for the NHS and with annual wider social costs of £ 2 billion) and personal consequences (which include high risks of self harm, suicide, substance use and other mental health problems) of bipolar disorder.