1 - Broaden the base of Bipolar Disorders in Europe.
The EBF believes that Bipolar Disorders encompass BP I through to V. This means that practice, recognition and diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder needs to be broadened. Clinician education needs to carefully and accurately distinguish between Bipolar conditions and other psychiatric states. The EBF supports specialist diagnosis and initial care of Bipolar Patients; with primary care playing a maintenance and supportive role in ongoing patient treatment. Long-term management between acute episodes and inter-episodal care is also recommended by the EBF. This structure minimises societal and budgetary costs by minimising relapses, and optimises patient care and support. This should create the best opportunity for patients to contribute and to improve their well-being.
2 - Raise the public and political awareness about the importance of Bipolar Disorder in Europe.
The number of Bipolar Disorder sufferers (up to 10%) and the personal cost of Bipolar Disorders has not been recognised by the public. The EBF supports public awareness campaigns and can help members manage or initiate their activities.
3 - Strengthen the standard, availability and uniformity of Bipolar Disorder Treatments in Europe.
The level of Bipolar Treatments in Europe should be improved. Several excellent guideline papers have already appeared. The availability of psychiatry needs to be increased in many European countries where waiting lists are long and only a minority of Bipolar Disorders patients ever see a Psychiatrist. The uniformity should be improved. There are huge differences across Europe in the quality of Bipolar Disorders services. All Europeans, regardless of their geographical location, should receive the Bipolar Disorders services required.
4 - Create and maintain continuing medical education accreditation.
The EBF has already defined criteria for continuing medical education and for the co-sponsorship of meetings. This may later be expanded to cover all CME activities, and the EBF aims to participate with other psychiatric organisations in creating a common accreditation for CME in psychiatric conditions.