30th March is World Bipolar Day. POhWER support people with Bipolar disorder to speak up for themselves and have a voice.

Here are two case studies which demonstrate how POhWER have supported people with Bipolar disorder:

Abid's Story

Abid has Bi Polar Disorder. In recent months his condition had deteriorated and he had become increasingly unsure of what was reality, leading to him assaulting another patient. This had resulted in him being moved from a low secure to a medium secure facility. Abid began to feel people were not real, refused to engage and had started a hunger strike


Abid’s doctor referred him for advocacy support as he felt this would help him to understand the safeguarding process and would provide support with the Care Programme Approach (CPA).


POhWER’s advocate, Julie met with Abid in the ward social area. She explained her role and that she was independent. They discussed Abid’s concerns and Julie agreed to write down a brief summary of their conversations for Abid to keep, providing tangible proof of their contact whilst he was unwell.


By Julie building this trust Abid felt able to communicate his worries and explain how this had led to the assault and his hunger strike. He found he could go away and reflect on the written summary and write his concerns down about not wanting to engage with professionals


Abid told Julie that he felt he was hiding his deterioration and he had stopped eating as a form of controlling a situation he was struggling with. He was very anxious as he felt his medication was ineffective and gave Julie consent to speak to his doctor. The doctor saw Abid immediately and agreed to change his medication.


A couple of weeks later the change in medication had taken effect. This provided much relief for Abid and potentially prevented another violent outburst or assault. With Advocacy support Abid was able to attend his CPA. He felt safe enough to talk through his own desires and concerns.


Abid was very grateful for advocacy support. He felt empowered and increasingly independent. He said that knowing the advocacy service is there makes him feel safe and that he can prevent such a deterioration in his condition from happening again.

Andy's story

Andy has Bi Polar Disorder and had recently been transferred to a medium secure hospital. He was referred to POhWER’s advocacy service on arrival and his advocate, Sam introduced herself and explained her role and POhWER’s Confidentiality Policy.


Andy had a tribunal arranged and felt it would be helpful to have some support to prepare for this as he said that his mood fluctuates and he has problems with his concentration. He said he was struggling to remain focused on his tribunal and had many ideas of what approach to take and what he would like to say. He expressed that these thoughts were often hard to stream together and this resulted in him getting very frustrated.


Sam suggested that Andy might want to write down his various ideas and options so he could come to a decision about which option he felt might be the best. Andy felt this would be beneficial and he practised reading aloud to Sam what he would like to say and how he would react to certain questions that may be put to him.


Sam met with Andy a few times during the following weeks. As she was based on site she had flexibility in being able to visit him at times that fitted best in relation to his mood and behaviours.


Andy felt very well prepared for his tribunal. By focusing his thoughts he was able to communicate more effectively with his solicitor. This enabled him to feel more in control of his care pathway and helped to lessen the stress he had been feeling.


Andy got the outcome he wanted as he was transferred to a lower secure hospital nearer home. He told Sam: “Thank you, there was no way I would have been able to take part in my tribunal if you hadn’t of helped me”.