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STABILISE: Study of Therapy for Bipolar Inter-episode Symptoms


This study looks at a talking therapy programme for people with bipolar disorder who are currently experiencing ongoing low mood or mood swings outside of major episodes of depression or mania. The findings of this study will help us plan for a larger, future trial of the therapy that will be able to say whether or not it would be a helpful addition to the care that is currently available in the NHS for people with ongoing bipolar symptoms. The study is taking place in Devon and in Avon & Wiltshire, sponsored by the University of Exeter. It is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research.
If you are someone with bipolar or cyclothymic disorder, and you live in Devon or in the Avon and Wiltshire area, you may be able to take part.

If you take part you will receive either the new talking therapy in addition to your usual care, or your usual care without the new therapy. Half of those who take part will receive the new therapy, and whether you do is determined at random.

If you receive the new therapy you will be offered up to 22 individual therapy sessions of behavioural therapy that has been specially designed to support people experiencing these ongoing symptoms. The sessions can be face-to-face, online or by phone. Everyone who takes part will be asked to complete sets of questionnaires at several points over a one year period.

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact the research team (details below). Contacting the research team in no way commits you to taking part in the study.

Research team

Study researchers (if you are interested in taking part):

Daniel Scott (Devon)
Phone: 07929 784737

David Rudall (Avon and Wiltshire)
Phone: 01173 784266

Chief investigator:

Dr Kim Wright
Phone: 01392 725 227
Address: Mood Disorders Centre, School of Psychology, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QG

Find out more

If you would like to watch a video reading out the information sheet or the consent form, please follow the links below:

Sources of support

If you are in distress and need immediate help and are unable to see a GP, those in the Plymouth area should contact the First Response Service at Livewell South West (0800 923 9323). Those in the rest of Devon, should please contact the First Response Service at Devon Partnership NHS Trust (0808 196 8708). Both services are open 24/7. In an emergency you should call 999.

Devon Partnership NHS Trust offers out of hours mental health support to anyone aged 16+ at The Moorings. They offer support in person, over the phone, or via video call. You can come just for a chat, or to access one-to-one support from trained professionals. People using The Mooring will also be supported by their 24/7 helpline, which offers access to emotional support and information even when The Mooring is closed. There are 3 locations for this service:

Barnstable (07850 927064)

  • The Voice Meeting Rooms, Belle Meadow Court, Albert Lane, Barnstaple, EX32 8RJ
  • Open: 6pm-11pm, Thursday to Monday.

Exeter (07990 790920)

  • Wonford House, Dryden Road, Exeter, EX2 5AF
  • Open: 10am-midnight, Monday-Friday (including bank holidays) 12pm-midnight, Saturday-Sunday.

Torquay (07483 991848)

  • Torbay Business Centre, Lymington Rd, Torquay, TQ1 4BD
  • Open: 10am-6pm (online appts only) and 6pm-midnight, Monday-Friday (including bank holidays) 12pm-midnight, Saturday-Sunday.

If you are in distress and need immediate help and are unable to see a GP, those in Bristol can contact Bristol Mental Health on 0300 555 0334. This line is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Others under the care of Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership can call their 24-hour helpline on 0800 953 1919. In an emergency you should call 999.

Below are details on services and organisations that offer help and support:

Contact the Samaritans

For support in a crisis, Text Shout to 85258. Shout offer support for people in a personal crisis, or who are unable to cope and need support.

You can call the Rethink advice and information line (0300 5000 927: calls are charged at your local rate) Monday to Friday, 10am-2pm for practical advice on therapy and medication, benefits, debts and money issues, police, courts and prison, and your rights under the mental health act.

For advice and support specific to bipolar, Bipolar UK has information on how to cope with bipolar and offers a peer support line if you would like advice regarding staying well and managing bipolar.

Community mental health services offer various treatments including medications and psychological therapies for people who are experiencing mental health problems. They can also help with other aspects of life such as claiming benefits and housing problems. To access these services you should contact your GP to talk about being referred to your local community team.

Here is a link to a letter (text and audio versions) written by a group of people who have experienced extreme crisis in their emotional life and mental health, intended for others who are suffering right now:

Here is a video for people in the study concerned about changes in mood they notice when taking part: