I recently attended the EOLAS program in Sligo which I found very good and informative, it was a great chance to meet other people who were in similar circumstances and gain an insight into how their conditions affected them and what ways they managed their symptoms. It was also an opportunity to meet and listen to mental health professionals explain how they approach helping or treating people with Bipolar, Schizophrenia or Psychosis related illnesses. The program was very well presented by all the staff and facilitators, they were very open to listening to all views and willing to provide advice or sourced further information when asked. I believe that all the participants gained help and advice from each others stories. I would encourage any person who has the specific conditions that apply to attend the course, they will find it very helpful & informative, there is also a separate course for family members who may wish to learn about their loved ones illness.
As a attendee I would like to make a few suggestions that may help develop the course further, at present the course layout covers all 3 conditions but I feel as a person with Bipolar 2, that some more in-depth information on the bipolar spectrum needs to be included, each sub condition in the spectrum has their own features that effects each person in different ways and such information would help the person gain a greater understanding of their specific condition and this knowledge would help them manage it better. I would also recommend information about the types of medication used to treat this condition include the pros and cons of their potential side-effects this will help people know how its treated and what can occur with medication. I make this suggestion because people who may have bipolar or their loved ones may mistakenly believe due to lack of adequate knowledge of the illness that psychosis and bipolar go hand in hand which is not always the case.
On a final note I suggest that the book used for the course be revised to include more info on bipolar as stated above, I also feel that the book is a bit heavy on technical details and wording, perhaps using information in plain English and use terms and information that were less technical would help all people to enjoy the course more. The book at 125 pages long it may be very heavy reading for people who would not be used to reading such detailed levels of information and may be a bit off putting. I also feel that the book format is awkward to use as it is hard to keep open especially if laid on a table, perhaps developing the sections in handouts that could be handed out each week might be more useful and easier to read. It would also reduce the likelihood of wastage and cost of printing as people would likely only take the sections that would apply to them.
The above comments are only suggestions and not any way criticism and are from a person who attended and enjoyed the course and are meant to help the HSE further develop the course.
As previously stated I would strongly encourage anyone who has Bipolar, Schizophrenia or Psychosis related conditions or their loved ones who want to learn more about the illnesses to attend this course, it's very good, informative and gives them a chance to meet and learn from others who are in the same circumstances. The tea/coffee and very nice biscuits/buns were an added bonus and were greatly appreciated and enjoyed by all who attended the course.
A Eolas attendee.
"Very good and informative EOLAS Program & some suggestions"
About: Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services / Leitrim Adult Community Mental Health Services Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services Leitrim Adult Community Mental Health Services Sligo Town
Posted by A service user (as ),