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EOLAS Service User Programme

What is the service user programme?

EOLAS is a Mental Health Information and Learning Programme for service users with a diagnosis of schizophrenia spectrum or bipolar disorder. EOLAS also provides a programme for family members and friends.

The focus of each EOLAS programme is on the promotion of recovery .The programmes include:

  • Discussion groups
  • Question and answer sessions
  • Case studies
  • Paired and individual learning activities
  • Guest speakers to deal with specific areas of expertise
  • Recommended reading
  • Encouragement of self directed relapse prevention strategies

The EOLAS Programme is unique, it provides information through peers (service users and family members) and clinicians working together using knowledge gained by lived experience and clinical expertise. It is our hope that this learning will assist you by promoting confidence on your journey to recovery. To ensure that EOLAS is meeting people’s needs each programme is evaluated.

What service user participants have told us about the benefits of attending an EOLAS programme:

  • Increases knowledge of mental health conditions
  • Increases knowledge of services provided by the mental health team
  • Increases knowledge of managing relapse prevention
  • Increases awareness of self care
  • Increases hopefulness
  • An important source of emotional support
  • Increases confidence for self advocacy

 Structure of the Service User EOLAS Programme

  • The programme is run over 8 weeks
  • Each session 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
  • Each programme is delivered by two co-facilitators one of whom is a family member and the other is a clinician
  • You will be provided with a manual containing a summary of all information that is discussed during the session

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Week 1

Introduction to EOLAS

The aim of this module is to explain about the purpose, content and style of the EOLAS programme.

Activities Include:

  • Introductions
  • Overview of the EOLAS programme
  • Agreement on how the group will work together
  • Agreement on how the group will work with a guest speaker
  • A discussion on Who’s who in Mental Health Services
  • Group discussions and activities
  • Recap and introduction to module 2

Week 2

How a diagnosis is made

The aim of this module is to introduce and clarify the diagnostic process to participants and to support participants in developing a broader understanding of the clinical terms associated with making a diagnosis. A guest speaker (usually a Psychiatrist) is invited to explain how a diagnosis is reached and other diagnostic terms.

Activities Include:

  • Group discussion about diagnosis
  • Question and answer session with psychiatrist
  • Recap and preparation for module 3

Week 3

Treatment interventions towards recovery

The aim of this module is to support participants in developing an understanding of the different treatment options that can assist in recovery from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The module focuses primarily on medication treatments for these conditions. . A guest speaker ( usually a Psychiatrist) is invited to explain about treatment options.

Activities Include:

  • Group discussion about treatments options
  • Question and answer session with psychiatrist
  • Recap and preparation for Module 4

Week 4

Voices & Distressing beliefs

The purpose of this module is to help participants to understand and deal with experiences such as hearing voices and distressing beliefs.

Activities Include:

  • Group discussion on what may bring on voices or distressing beliefs
  • Case study on hearing voices
  • Group discussion on coping strategies
  • Recap and introduction to module 5

Week 5

Recovery

The purpose of this module is to support participants in exploring the meaning of recovery and how it might apply to them.

Activities Include:

  • Group Discussion on recovery
  • Team sessions on positive things people can do to give themselves hope
  • Paired session on taking personal responsibility for recovery
  • Recap and introduction to module 6

Week 6

Maintaining recovery & relapse prevention

The purpose of this module is to look at maintaining recovery and introducing the participants to relapse prevention.

Activities Include:

  • Fun team quiz on recovery
  • Introduction to self help wellness tools
  • Recap and introduction to module 7

Week 7

Self advocacy & stigma

The purpose of this module is to give participants a basic understanding of different models of advocacy with particular emphasis on self- advocacy and dealing with stigma.

Activities Include:

  • Group discussion on advocacy
  • Case study on how to make a complaint
  • Group discussions on stigma and how to confront it

Week 8

Rights & Entitlements

The purpose of this module is to introduce participants to the role of the Community welfare Officer(CWO) and for participants to develop an understanding of social welfare entitlements and how to access them. This session is presented by a guest speaker( either a Community Welfare Officer or Mental Health Social Worker).

The second part provides participants with an opportunity to discuss what worked well for them as a group and what has not worked well. It provides a chance for the group to celebrate their work in the previous 7 modules, to receive certificates of attendance in recognition of their participation and to provide closure to the programme.

​Activities Include:

  • Group discussion on social welfare entitlements
  • Question and answer session with the guest speaker
  • Group discussion on the impact of the programme on participants
  • Presentation of certificates

© Eolas mental Health 2017