SIM Scenario Exchange

De-escalation of a patient diagnosed with bipolar disorder and drug and alcohol use

Contributed on July 4, 2022, last updated July 21, 2022.



Andrew Cawston, John Abbott College

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In this scenario, learners will care for an adult diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type I, who is experiencing a manic episode. Learners will use therapeutic communication skills to complete assessments and practice verbal de-escalation strategies. Learners will also identify medications that may be administered to promote patient safety. The simulation will occur during a day shift on an in-patient psychiatric unit.

Learning Objectives:

Introduce themselves
Correctly identify the patient

Use therapeutic communication to engage and de-escalate the patient

Complete appropriate assessments

Select interventions appropriate for the context and patient needs

Simulation Modality:

Virtual gaming simulation / virtual patient


This simulation’s scenario and script were formally peer-reviewed by two external institutions, then the final simulation was pilot tested by several students on a student testing committee then as part of the Virtu-WIL Student Program’s rollout.


101p, OpenLabyrinth


Cawston A. De-escalation of a patient diagnosed with bipolar disorder and drug and alcohol use. Simulation resource published by Simulation Canada; 2022. Available from

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Target Learners






Undergraduate / post-secondary

Fields / Disciplines:

Mental health

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