Background to the EOLAS project
The World Health Organisation initiated a move towards a Recovery orientation in the provision of mental health services. This approach is based on long term studies which show that up to 70% of those diagnosed with schizophrenia AND 80% of those diagnosed with bipolar disorders recover or improve significantly.
The Vision for Change Report published by the Department of Health in 2006 provides a road map for the implementation of this new strategy by mental health services. The aim therfore will be on assisting the service users recovery . Not only will this cause a shift in focus of the relationship between clinicians and service users but in a more concrete way it will shape the way services are planned, structured and delivered.
Origin of EOLAS
The Kildare West Wicklow mental health team embraced this new development .They brought together clinicians, service users, family and friends, academia and mental health support agencies , to engage in the process of designing, delivering and evaluatng two mental health information and learning programmes for people diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and their family and friends.
Objectives of the Eolas Project
•Design an information programme in collaboration with users of services and family members
•Deliver the programme using a co facilitation model involving both clinicians and peer facilitators
•Recruit and educate both clinician and peer facilitators from within mental health services
•Conduct an independent evaluation of the programme from the perspectives of all stakeholders
•Integrate EOLAS into HSE mental health service provision
EOLAS collaboration is founded on the understanding that all viewpoints are of equal value as each perspective contibutes to our understanding of the challenges of mental health issues. Service users, family members and clinicians collaborate at each stage of the project in the following ways:
•Participation in the EOLAS Steering Committee that oversees the project
•Participation in a series of focus groups designed to identify what information participants wanted in the programme and how the information should be delivered
•Participation in the EOLAS programmes design
•Participation in the facilitation of the EOLAS programmes
•Participation in the evaluation team and evaluation feedback
•Participation in the promotion, delivery and support of the programme