EOLAS: Building capacity for collaborative education between service users, family members and practitioners within mental health services

Background: Service users and families need information so they can take charge of their own recovery and relationship with the mental health system. To support this, we developed and delivered 2 mental health information programmes (the EOLAS Programmes), to over 800 service users and family members. The programmes were on recovery from the experience of mental health difficulties (specifically a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorders) for users of services and also for family members. Feedback from participants has been very positive about the impact of the programmes on their knowledge, skills, and recovery. Despite this feedback, not all mental health services have successfully integrated EOLAS into the care they provide to service users or family members.

Aim: The purpose of our research is to develop strategies to support and ensure the delivery of EOLAS within all mental health services.

Methods: We will do this by interviewing people who have implemented, facilitated or attended EOLAS, as well as key people who know about EOLAS but have chosen not to adopt the programmes. We will include service users, family members, facilitators, practitioners and managers. We will talk to them about the things which support or block the delivery of the programmes, as well as the long term impact and will analyse what they say to see what advise they have on strategies to overcome challenges in implementation. In collaboration with them, we will develop resources such as a best practice guide and video to assist and guide people on how to implement and sustain EOLAS within their service. The study will be conducted to the highest ethical standards and will receive ethical approval from Trinity College Dublin and all clinical sites. The results and the learning tools will be shared widely, through the EOLAS website and other media.


Award Date
24 February 2017
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Agnes Higgins
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
Applied Partnership Awards