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HealthInfo Canterbury

Living with bipolar disorder

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What can I do?

How do I support a friend or family member who has bipolar disorder?

Who can help?

What can I do?

There are many things you can do to help yourself if you have bipolar disorder.

How do I support a friend or family member who has bipolar disorder?

If you have a child, family member, or friend with an illness that might be bipolar disorder, they will need your support. Make sure you look after yourself so you are strong and healthy to support them. Supporting Families in Mental Illness is a free service that helps people dealing with family members with a mental illness.

As well, the organisations and resources at the bottom of this page might help.

Who can help?

The following people and organisations may be involved in your (or a family member's or friend's) healthcare.

General practice team

If you need to find a GP, you can search on this map.

Community support group

Counsellor or therapist

Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC)

The Canterbury Mental Health Education and Resource Centre Trust (MHERC) provides information, education, and support within the Canterbury region to people with mental health and addiction issues, families/whānau, caregivers, and associates, agencies, and the community.

Canterbury DHB Specialist Mental Health Services including the Anxiety Disorders Outpatient Unit

The Specialist Mental Health Service, a division of the Canterbury District Health Board is the major provider of mental health services in the Canterbury region. Read more...

Youth Speciality Services

This is a specialist outpatient service for 13- to 18-year-olds (or older if still at school) with moderate to severe mental illness, and their families. If a young person has mood issues or psychotic symptoms that could be the start of bipolar disorder, the service's early intervention team can provide the best help for them. Read more about Canterbury DHB Child, Adolescent and Family Community Mental Health Services.

Totara House Early Intervention in Psychosis Service

Totara House helps 18 to 30-year-olds who are having psychotic symptoms for the first time. Some of these young adults will later be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Read more.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

The following resources may be helpful if you are living with or looking after someone who has bipolar disorder.

On the next page: More information about bipolar disorder

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2016. Last updated May 2019.

See also:

Keeping physically healthy with a mental illness or addiction

Medications for mental health issues

Preparing for your doctor's visit

Page reference: 52195

Review key: HIBIP-52193