How to help

Different ways to provide support

Caregivers differ in how much and what type of support for bipolar they provide (e.g. some help only when there is an emergency, while others also help to prevent bipolar relapse). You need to consider what suits you, the person and your caregiving situation. There are different kinds of support.

Below are some suggestions about ways to support the person with a bipolar episode, in a bipolar crisis and to keep well and enjoy life.

Helping with a bipolar episode

There are ways close family and friends can help with bipolar especially when the person is ill. Click the following links for suggestions about ways to:

Dealing with a bipolar crisis

Bipolar crises can arise if the person is severely ill, can’t function or take care of themselves, or they are at high risk of suicide or other serious negative consequences. This can be a difficult time.

Many caregivers find that it helps to have plans to deal with times when the person they care for is very unwell. If the person you care for tends to have severe bipolar episodes, it may help to make plans to be more prepared. If possible, make plans together with the person when they are relatively well. For more about making plans see:

Not everyone with bipolar disorder becomes suicidal. However, the risk of suicide is high. Caregivers can sometimes assist the person and their clinician to try to prevent suicide. For suggestions click on:

In the resources section there are links to crisis helplines and organisations that support people who are suicidal and their family and friends.

Helping the person to keep well and enjoy life

There are ways to help the person to prevent relapse. You can:

Caregivers can also have a vital role in supporting the person’s efforts to live well despite the illness:

There are many different ways to help with bipolar and you need to decide what suits you and the person.