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Table 2 2011 Community engagement events

From: Improving care and wellness in bipolar disorder: origins, evolution and future directions of a collaborative knowledge exchange network

Based on feedback from prior community consultations, CREST.BD developed a series of inter-related events for 2011 targeted towards people with BD who self-identified as creative. The first event was a public screening of three documentaries (two by local B.C. filmmakers living with BD), which explored understandings of the role of creativity in BD. A post-screening discussion with one of the filmmakers allowed for greater audience interaction with the issues and themes that emerged from the films. The second event represented the team’s third annual CED, entitled: ‘Touched with Fire or Burnt Out?’: Igniting a dialogue. During the day-long event, 22 participants shared experiences during focus groups designed to explore the factors which encourage or challenge the expression of creativity. Ten team members were in attendance, several of whom presented recent team research on the link between BD and creativity. Graphic facilitation methods[30] were used to capture the themes from the day and additional action-oriented insights from participants. The final event was held later the same day, where participants and the general public were invited to: ‘The Creative Life: A Night of Music celebrating BD’ held at an arts-focused, community venue. A mural, developed through the graphic facilitation process, was displayed, and served as a focal point for further engagement. The main feature was a live band fronted by a team member with BD, local musicians and team members, who performed popular songs by artists with BD. Each of the inter-related events was co-facilitated by the team leader and a team member living with BD, each with their own unique expertise in the creative arts. Over 250 community members and 20 team members participated. The combined events increased the team’s visibility in the BD community, widened community and health care provider networks, and encouraged community members and wider audiences to engage in this new area of research.