COVID-19. We welcome spring this year with uncertainty. What will the summer bring? When will things get back to ‘normal’? What will be the new normal? No one knows. We move along, one day at a time. Many unforeseen paths have been taken, many of them unwillingly.
In the Prechter Bipolar Research Program we remain very active in our research and outreach to our participants. We are privileged to have engaged a phenomenal group of individuals who live their lives with bipolar disorder and contribute to our research mission by sharing details of their personal experiences with the illness. Several years ago, we shifted our program to be able to gather information online and through web portals as much as possible. Much of our ‘in person’ contact can be done through telephone calls. Our data and analysis teams are working from home, connected to the powerful computer systems here at the University of Michigan.
Yet - we do miss the human connections that, somehow, are just not the same through Zoom or other online media. We see the world and our people electronically, representations on a screen. We are alone together in these strange times.
This year we assembled a summary document that captures what has been done in the Prechter Program over the past 15 years. Give it a read! Our work is made possible by our many incredible partnerships.
We have recently expanded our work to gather more information on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people with bipolar. We know that there is a lot of stress going on, but what happens after a year or two? The long-term impact needs to be studied so we can provide guidance as to how to adapt later on.
As we sail forward into this ‘summer of uncertainty’, I remain optimistic. We will learn more about bipolar disorder than we knew before. And because of the Prechter Bipolar Research Program – the world will be a better place.
Looking forward to seeing everyone in person soon!
Be well and thrive.
Dr. McInnis is the Principal Investigator and Scientific Director, Prechter Bipolar Research Program;
Thomas B. and Nancy Upjohn Woodworth Professor of Bipolar Disorder and Depression;
Professor of Psychiatry;
Associate Director, University of Michigan Depression Center