KenBiS (Kenniscentrum Bipolaire Stoornissen) is a network organization of 21 clinical and research institutions throughout the Netherlands, all dedicated to the care for people with bipolar disorder. It was officially founded in 2009, but had evolved from the Lithium Task Force (Lithium Plus Werkgroep), a group of professionals and researchers that had been involved in bipolar disorders and regularly met since the late 1980’s. The mission of KenBiS is improving care for patients, spreading knowledge, and facilitating research on bipolar disorders. The group meets four times per year in a business and a scientific meeting at one of the participating centers. KenBiS organizes trainings and seminars, and has a close collaboration with the patient organization plusminus. Since 2013, KenBiS is the official Dutch chapter of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD).
Plusminus, ‘living with bipolarity’, is the Dutch patient and caregiver organization for bipolar disorders. It was founded in 1987 with a mision to improve the quality of life of people with bipolar disorder, improve care, and improve involvement of partners, family members and other caregivers. Among other activities, Plusminus organizes well-visited nationwide meetings four times per year, next tot regional meetings, stimulates contact among peers, has a telephone helpdesk, and facilitates participation in research projects in collaboration with KenBiS. Plusminus is also an active member of MIND, the Dutch umbrella organization for mental health.
The IGSLI was founded in 1988 by Mogens Schou (Aarhus, Denmark), Bruno Müller-Oerlinghausen (Berlin, Germany), and Paul Grof (Ottawa, Canada). The chief goal of the group was to work on controversial topics related to lithium treatment using excellent methods and working with a large number of patients – something that could only be accomplished with a multicentre approach.
Today, 38 centers in Europe, Canada and the USA are involved with IGSLI . These centres all have long and outstanding experience in the long-term treatment of patients with affective disorders with lithium. The members meets once a year at a research conference to plan and discuss running projects and to prepare publications. These conferences are regularly accompanied by a teaching seminar and public lectures. The IGSLI is dedicated to a European research tradition characterized by precise documentation and analysis, as well as by the long-term commitment and cooperation of members and staff.