Welcome to the EOLAS website where information is provided on all aspects of the recovery focused EOLAS programmes. The EOLAS project delivers two mental health information and learning programmes, one for service users with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and another for their families and friends.  The delivery of the EOLAS Programmes is unique as they are co-facilitated by a peer facilitator and a clinical facilitator.  Clinicians bring their professional expertise and family members and service users are experts by experience. Each perspective is viewed as having equal value and importance in promoting the recovery journey for service users and their families. The expertise the co facilitators bring to the EOLAS programme enables them to be a source of hope and encouragement for participants. The participants learn from each other through engaging in discussions on living with mental health issues and their personal recovery journeys. It is our hope that this learning will assist all participants on their journey to recovery.

Origin of the project

This innovative project was initiated in 2011 by the Kildare West Wicklow mental health team and has been developed through collaboration with users of services, family members, mental health support organisations, clinicians and academia. Its objective is to design, deliver and evaluate two mental health information and support programmes to assist in the recovery journey of those diagnosed schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders and also their family members and friends. Funded initially by GENIO, today EOLAS is part of the HSE programme for mental health.

Aim of the project 

The aim of the project is to engage service users and their families in understanding the recovery journey following a diagnosis of schizophrenia spectrum or bipolar disorder and give them the confidence to manage their lives.

The programme delivery 

The programme modules are run over 8 weeks. Each module is of 90 minutes duration and allows time for discussion and questions. Different topics are covered each week with guest speakers for a number of sessions. Participants are provided with a manual containing a summary of all the information that is discussed during the sessions. The programme content is based on extensive research & consultation with service users and family members and meets their varied needs.  Each programme is delivered by a peer and clinical facilitator This co-facilitation model enhances the learning process through utilising knowledge gained by lived experience and clinical expertise. The collaboration process is based on the training received on the EOLAS four-day facilitation training course. The training enables participants to gain facilitation skills and experience in developing working relationships between service users, family members and clinicians.

Accessing the EOLAS programme

The EOLAS programmes are currently delivered by HSE mental health services in the Leinster area and the EOLAS project team are engaged in the process of establishing the project nationwide.

If you believe that EOLAS could be of benefit to you and are interested in attending the programme or need further information you can speak to a member of your local mental health team, call your local clinic or you can also contact us through CONTACT US on this page. 

If you are a clinician in the mental health services, you might consider championing the project in your area.  You can contact the project team through CONTACT US on this page.