Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder - Level 1 Intro Group
Drop-In Education and Support Group - No-Cost
Ongoing - Groups run 3 times/year for 8 weeks - get current dates by calling (780)757-0900.
Momentum Walk-In Clinic,
Suite 706, 5241 Calgary Trail,
These support groups are intended for people who have bipolar or think they may have bipolar, and for their loved ones who are supporting them. These groups continue to be "no-cost," thanks to the funding provided by the Wellness Network.
These groups are run twice a year for approximately 8 weeks each. No groups will be held on statuary holidays.
These groups will be led by myself, with the assistance of two student interns; both of whom will be available to provide additional no-cost support through individual counselling sessions (for the duration of the group).
Develop tools for how to maintain a daily routine regardless of emotional state, focus on effective coping strategies for stability, and experience connection as a group. The goal is to develop personal strategies that will help to reduce the intensity and frequency of symptoms. Includes handouts, discussion, and professional support.
Attend as many meetings as needed. However, you will receive the most benefit if you attend regularly as each week builds upon the information shared during the previous week.
*Loved ones & supports are also welcome to attend!*
Members are not required to sign-up for this course as it is a drop-in group. If you want to be added to the list and receive info and updates, send an email to [email protected]
Bipolar Level 2 - Accountability Support Group
Closed Group - No New Members Once Group Begins
Oct 2 / Nov 6 / Dec 4, 2017
Jan 8 / Feb 5 / March 5, 2018
The Level 2 Accountability Support Group will be less structured and more flexible than the Level 1 Intro Support Group (see below). It will be structured around the needs and specific concerns of members and allow for more peer-led conversation. Therefore, it will feel quite different from the Level 1 Intro Group, which followed a highly structured psycho-educational format (aka: intended to share lots of info according to a pre-established schedule).
The Level 2 Group will also be a closed-group, which means that for the duration of the group, no new members will be able to join once the group has started. This helps to establish a sense of continuity, community, and trust among members. It is for this reason that it will be important for members to commit to attending all 6 monthly sessions.
Finally, all members in the Level 2 Group would have previously attended the Level 1 Intro Group or have a good understanding about bipolar and bipolar management. This prerequisite helps to ensure that all Level 2 members are starting with the same basic information about bipolar and that repetition about basic information (i.e., what are the symptoms of bipolar) can be kept to a minimum...which frees up time for additional topics that interest Level 2 members.
To expand upon the tools developed during the Level 1 Intro Group and to assist members, who have been diagnosed with bipolar, in continuing to maintain progress and efforts towards their mental health goals.
Members must commit to all 6 monthly meetings.
The total cost will be $390/participant for 6 monthly meetings ($65/session - below the average cost of an individual therapy session).
The cost of the group may be eligible for reimbursement through some extended health care plans. Payment receipts will also be available.
To register for this group and to find out when the next group will be running, please call Samantha at 780-710-9567. You can also contact her via email.
*This group is not intended for support people*
To sign up for this course, send an email to [email protected]
Supporting Someone in a Bipolar Crisis
Online Course Description
The Supporting Someone in a Bipolar Crisis course has been specifically created for supporters:
- Who find themselves in the midst of a bipolar mental health crisis, or
- Who want to be prepared in advance of a bipolar crisis.
Many supporters become overwhelmed during the search for accurate information while also trying to put plans in place and to support their loved one.
Many supporters just want to be led through the maze of managing a bipolar crisis and guided in how to put an effective support plan in place.
The purpose of this online pilot course is to guide supporters in how they can become effective supporters by providing them with all the necessary information in one place.
By taking this online course, you can feel assured that you have the information you need and that you no longer need to scramble and randomly “Google-search” for information when you are already stressed and overwhelmed by the bipolar crisis of your loved one.
This course will teach you
- How to speak so your loved one feels respected and supported.
- How to track symptoms so you can advocate and report concerns clearly to your loved one’s treatment team or physician without sounding erratic and confused (even if you feel this way during the crisis)
- Ensure you understand what bipolar is and its diagnostic criteria so you can talk authoritatively with your loved one's treatment team and any other professionals involved in their treatment. This will include depression, hypomania, mania, cyclothymia, mixed state, suicidal ideation, psychosis, delusions, hallucinations, rapid cycling, and risk and protective factors. (It is ill advised to do anything “to” anyone and much better to do something “with” someone).
- How to assess the level of risk (e.g., Suicide and Hypomania/Mania)
- What forms you need to have in place so you can be an active supporter during a crisis and have access to information needed to fulfill your role effectively (e.g., forms indicating previous agreements, care-plans, symptom checklists, etc).
- To understand the process of getting admitted in a hospital (e.g., voluntary versus involuntary admission, decision capacity assessments, and more).
- What to do when your loved one refuses treatment of support.
- How to support your loved one to transition back to life and the community after discharge/crisis.
- How to form a collaborative relationship with involved professionals.
- How to prepare for the next bipolar crisis and to do so with the collaboration of your loved one
All information is presented through short easy-to-digest videos and with easy-to-read handouts that you can refer to again at a later date. There will also be group telephone/video calls that participants can ask questions and get specific feedback.
By taking this course, you will streamline your efforts in gathering the information you need so that you can focus on being an effective supporter.
By taking this course and increasing your understanding of bipolar and effective support strategies, you will be in a stronger position:
- To help your loved one feel supported rather than judged or criticized.
- To become a more effective support person while taking care of yourself.
- To be prepared and know what to do the next time a crisis hits.
By educating yourself as much as you can about bipolar and crisis management, you can take an active role in your loved one’s recovery while simultaneously respecting your own limits.
Who this Course is Not for
Advanced supporters who have been at this for awhile and have managed several crises already with success won’t need this course.
But, if you are a newbie at bipolar management or you still feel scared and overwhelmed at the prospect of a future bipolar crisis, then this pilot course is for you. Finally, it you are not ready to take action and implement what you learn from this course, then this course will not be much benefit to you.
To sign up for this course, send an email to [email protected]