THE world’s first bipolar hub has been launched in the Gorbals. 

Situated in the Phoenix Building on Florence Street, the hub will offer a service dedicated to those diagnosed with bipolar – the first of its kind in the world
Bipolar Scotland launched the service last week, its first in conjunction with NHS Scotland, and said that it has been a long time in the making.
Glasgow Times:

Emma Morrow, Bipolar Scotland’s lead for the hub, said: “We’ve been working on bringing a service like the hub to those who need it for many years now. 

“It has been a lot of blood, sweat and toil to bring this to fruition and it’s such a good feeling that we can finally open up.”

The pilot scheme was originally planned for a May opening, but was pushed back due to the lockdown, with a virtual launch hosted last week. 

Emma said: “A lot of our services have been moved on to things like Zoom but we’re looking forward to being able to offer more services post-lockdown.”

First through the door to use the new hub was Lesley Fyfe, 61, from Cathcart. 
Lesley, who was diagnosed with bipolar 30 years ago, said: “Walking into the hub for the first time was like walking into a private clinic. 

“The staff had full PPE gear on but they couldn’t have been any friendlier and thorough. 

“It was as if everything had finally been joined up for people with bipolar.”
Lesley said one of the most rewarding aspects of using the hub was getting a service that is specifically tailored to those diagnosed with the disorder. 

She said: “Before the hub, everything was a bit haphazard. 

“You would be contacting people for blood tests and they wouldn’t know when your last one was or a treatment room was locked and they couldn’t track down the key, it was the one thing letting the care I was getting down. 

“With the hub, everything is so seamless and very professional. The staff know what they are talking about and you really feel like they are there to devote time to you.”

Bipolar Scotland has said that the aim of the hub is to offer a more approachable style of care. 

Emma said: “The hub is there as a holistic alternative to the care currently on offer. 

“It’s about self-management and recognising triggers and warning signs to know when an episode is going to happen, it’s taking back control of the care you receive.

“The idea is that bipolar doesn’t define someone, they’re still a person and they can learn to live a healthy life with it.”

After lockdown, the hub will be home to group workshops and personal meetings. 
Emma said: “I think the touch and human element is so important. 

“To just come in and have a cup of tea with someone is such a different experience to what many people have already have. 

“We could maybe look at things like pet therapy in the future.”

The hub is currently working on a referral basis with three community mental health teams in Castlemilk, Eastwood and in Phoenix House itself. 

Emma added: “We chose 
the Gorbals as our hub for this pilot scheme because of easy transport links from these areas, and it is an area of Glasgow that needs a service like this at the moment. 

“As a pilot scheme, we have high hopes for this to be rolled out across Scotland and maybe even further.”