The Bipolar Bum

Backpacking and Bipolar II. Taking Manic Depression on tour.

Skype Support Initiative : Peer-To-Peer support #support

There are times when speaking to someone who has been where you are and come through the other side is a hugely rewarding activity.  Often my illness prompts the desire for seclusion.  This prompt is in and of itself an indication that I need to reach out to someone, anyone.  Where I currently live, there isn’t a local support group for mental illness.  It occurred to me whilst thinking about this deficit that a whole host of other sufferers may be equally disadvantaged.


The Skype Support Initiative is my way of kick starting a world-wide support network full of people who understand the most (i.e sufferers).  The system will be simple – whenever my Skype account is online : I am available to speak to you if you need support.  Over time I hope to develop a large Peer to Peer support network with specific points of contact relevant to individual mental illnesses.


Please see:


All the best,


6 comments on “Skype Support Initiative : Peer-To-Peer support #support

  1. Amy Gamble

    I think this is a great idea and I am willing to participate. What is your skype account name so I can contact you via skype?


    • drheckleandmrjibe

      Hi there Amy,

      All the Skype contacts are written above in the different categories. I’m not constantly on Skype, but I always check my e-mails so you might be better off contacting me using the contact form on

      All the best,


  2. the Prodigal Orphan

    Hey Doc.
    This is one of the most astoundingly compassionate ideas I’ve heard in years.
    Me: Depression, Anxiety, ADD.
    Here in the States, health care is a major issue. People who have insurance already think it’s too expensive don’t care about the people who can’t afford it. Like taking it out of our taxes so it won’t cost us but a pittance is some sort of Commie plot first devised by Lenny Mountbatten or that French dude who used to run Canada.
    Not only that, it would take away from all the money we need to spend on sending our children over to the Middle East so they can come home and commit suicide at epidemic rates.
    The insurance I had until the first of this year was fined $4,000,000.00 for inadequate Mental Health Care. Individual psychotherapy was next to impossible to get on any regular basis. They believed in ninety-minute “classes” once a week for anywhere from two weeks to four weeks.
    They do have a Men’s Support Group that my psychiatrist told me would be perfect for me. I did not actually have any one-on-one therapy in close to a year even after partial hospitalization. Try as he might, he was not able to get me enrolled in the group: it was a closed group, limited to twelve men (workable number) meeting one night per week for two hours. It was open-ended: those twelve anointed ones could go as long as they wanted. There were forty men on the waiting list.
    I lodged a formal complaint NOT about my being denied but about the fact that with some people (such as my wife and I) were paying almost $14,000.00 per year in premiums – not including co-pays and medications and the best they could do in a major metropolitan area with over 100,000 “members” they insured was ONE group for TWELVE men.

    I have said it aloud in groups I have attended: “We lunatics are the ones doing all the work. That over-worked, under-paid guy at the end of the table with the white lab coat and plastic name badge? He’s just the ringmaster.”

    That is the beautiful thing about your idea. Even the most non-judgmental of the professionals in this field can’t help but reach automatic conclusions about the patients they first meet and it can be tough to shake them.

    Peer-to-peer, face-to-face, heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul.
    That is unattainable for so many people because of the general lack of understanding and comprehension of what we go through. Even the experts in the field cannot truly empathize or reach out to us like one of our own.

    As I start to build my following, I would love to get in on your plan. Most of the people I have heard from so far are dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder. I live with it through my wife, so can only speak from the very close and intimate outside looking in.
    Once I start hearing from more people in my mental neck of the woods I can start spreading the word among us.

    Thanks for your thought and inspiration and for joining me on my ride.
    My bad back has pretty much taken backpacking out of my plans.

    Stay well,

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe

      Hey Harris,

      Thanks very much for taking the time to write this and share your story. My friends and some followers have all communicated to me the horror story of meeting a therapist who clearly didn’t care about them. I’ve heard and can only imagine that the experience de-motivates you from ever trying therapy again, especially for the cost of it!

      If you’re keen to spread the word I’d love it. The more the merrier. Ideally I want enough of a choice for all the groups to be able to find someone that they gel with.

      Thanks again for the kind words!

      All the best,


  3. missyparticle

    This sounds like a really good idea! Most of the time, a lot of people going through something like Bipolar, GAD, depression or OCD have difficulty actually reaching out to family and friends. Since they won’t be able to grasp the situation or understand it, I guess at times it just takes like minded people (who truly understand the situation) to talk to each other and feel better for a bit. Unless they’re in that “I don’t want to speak to anyone and want to watch tv series all day long”, that usually ends up happening to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe

      Thanks for taking the time to send these kind words through.

      That need to be isolated is usually my strongest warning that the last thing I need is to be alone. I didn’t take my own advice on it this last week and it has cost me!

      All the best,


Have your say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow The Bipolar Bum on

How we're doing.

  • 29,282 hits


%d bloggers like this: