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help for bipolar disorder

Read the Advancing Standards of Care for People with Bipolar Disorder final report by Bill Schmelter, PHD (Senior Clinical Consultant – MTM Services).


2013 Advancing Standards of Care for People with Bipolar Disorder Project

The National Council for Behavioral Health has concluded the 2013 Advancing Standards of Care for People with Bipolar Disorder project. Results from the program demonstrated that project participants with bipolar disorder reported improved functioning on 20 daily living skills after participating in the evidence-based clinical program.

The program, Advancing Standards of Care for People with Bipolar Disorder, was spearheaded by the National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council), and supported by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. at 10 community mental health organizations. With targeted technical assistance from David Lloyd’s MTM Services, participating agencies were able to significantly improve communication, social interaction, and coping skills for persons recovering from bipolar disorder.

The program revolved around two evidence-based tools: a group curriculum to help adults better understand and self-manage their mental health condition (i.e., Wellness Self Management) and a functional assessment tool that tracks a person’s ability to independently carry out everyday tasks (i.e., DLA-20). According to one program participant, the program gave her confidence to face her diagnosis and fears. “I was afraid to talk to anyone before; I was having trouble at home. I’m now reconnected to my family and they are helping me get back on my feet. And, at Highland’s annual peer support banquet, I won the ‘best humor’ award.” Participating healthcare providers said that the measurement tool gave them accurate and reliable data that supported transparency and accountability.

Key results from the program:
  • There were statistically significant improvements in all DLA20 areas of functioning, as well as in the overall estimated Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), which was generated by the DLA20 tool.
  • The subscales with the most consistent statistically significant improvements within individual organizations included: productivity, social network, coping skills, health practices, communication, managing money, problem solving, and leisure. Nine of the 10 organizations had statistically significant improvements in overall estimated GAF.
  • The 10 pilot sites started with a total of 378 clients in April 2010.
  • There was an overall attrition rate of 50%, consistent with community-based treatment protocols.
  • The average cumulative functional score from all participants rose from an initial 39.98 to 45.12 over six months.

The study also found a statistically significant improvement in the frequency of discussions related to health issues between participants and clinical staff, as well as specific insights into improving the level of initial and ongoing engagement in group services for this population.

The participating sites included:
  • The Adanta Group – Somerset, KY
  • Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center Behavioral Health Services – Chicago, IL
  • Cherry Street Health Services – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Highland Rivers Health – Dalton, GA
  • Johnson County Mental Health Center – Shawnee, KS
  • Momentum for Mental Health – San Jose, CA
  • Robert Young Center – Moline, IL
  • The Center for Health Care Services – San Antonio, TX
  • The Providence Center – Providence, RI
  • Wyandot Center for Community Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. – Kansas City, KS

Please contact Mohini Venkatesh, Program Director, with any questions. [MohiniV@thenationalcouncil.org]

Advancing Standards of Care for People with Schizophrenia Pilot Program

The Advancing Standards of Care for People with Bipolar Disorder Program followed the success of the six-month Advancing Standards of Care for People with Schizophrenia Pilot Program in 2011 that focused on treating people with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Through the use of two evidence-based tools ―  Wellness Self-Management, a group curriculum to help adults better understand and self-manage their mental health condition, and DLA-20, a functional assessment tool that tracks a person’s ability to independently carry out everyday tasks ― pilot sites saw significant improvements in communication, social interaction, and coping skills among their clients. Learn more about the successes of the pilot program.