The Relatives & Friends Programme is a psycho-educational programme designed specifically for those supporting a loved one experiencing depression or bipolar disorder.
The free* programme, six hours over the course of four weeks, aims to provide helpful information about depression and bipolar disorder, provide practical skills and address the challenges faced each day when supporting a loved one. This programme is available to anyone over the age of 18 years.
Each week the course takes place from 7.30pm - 9.00pm. If you are supporting a relative or friend and are over 18 years of age, please register below by clicking "apply now".
Cork | Wednesday Evenings: 3, 10, 17 & 24 October
Donegal | Wednesday Evenings: 3, 10, 17 & 24 October
Dublin | Tuesdays Evenings: 2, 9, 16 & 23 October
Galway | Tuesdays Evenings: 2, 9, 16 & 23 October
Kildare | Tuesdays Evenings: 2, 9, 16 & 23 October
Mayo | Wednesday Evenings: 3, 10, 17 & 24 October
Sligo | Tuesdays Evenings: 2, 9, 16 & 23 October
Wicklow | Thursday Evenings: 4, 11, 18 & 25 October
This programme is not a substitute for CPD or teaching. Please do not register for this course as part of your professional training as you are taking a valuable space from someone who needs it.
What to expect
The programme aims to equip people with the tools to understand and support a loved one experiencing depression or bipolar disorder, while also focusing on the self-care of the supporter.
The content addresses the signs and symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder, offers practical advice on self-care, teaches coping tools, communication skills and addresses the issues that arise for people who are supporting a loved one. At the end of the programme, you will take away your own personal action plan.
The programme is delivered in workshop style to offer a participative learning environment. Each session is 90 minutes long. The workshops provide an opportunity for discussion but at no stage is anyone asked to share information if they do not wish to. Each group will contain a maximum of 20 people.
We are confident that this programme will help to:
- Increase your knowledge
- Teach you skills to cope more effectively
- Improve communication with your loved one
- Offer practical tips on self-care
- Lessen the impact of the experience of depression or bipolar disorder on your relationship
- Assist you in supporting your loved one
What is depression?
Depression is a mental health condition which can affect thinking, energy, feelings and behaviour. Any one of us, irrespective of age, gender or background can be affected. Recovery is possible, early recognition and ongoing support are key to a positive outcome. To find out more about depression and how to recognise it, click here >>
What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition which can affect thinking, energy, feelings and behaviour. It is characterised by periods of low (depressed) or high (elated) mood separated by periods of normal mood. One can lead a healthy and productive life once the illness is effectively treated. To find out more about depression and how to recognise it, click here >>
How do I register?
When the "apply now" button is visible at the top of this page, registration for the next programme is available. Alternatively please check back on the date posted above for the next registration window. These programmes run in different locations around the country a number of times per year. It is strongly recommended that you register only if you can attend the complete duration of 4 weeks, as each week compliments the previous week and builds upon it.
*The Relatives & Friends Education Programme is free however a refundable** booking fee of €30 is now in place to ensure that people who really want to do the programme actually have the opportunity to do so. If you are a student, unemployed, an OAP or hold a medical card you are eligible for a reduced refundable booking fee of €10.
**Please note the refund of the booking fee can be requested by calling Aware head office on 01 6617211 once all four modules are completed.
Feedback from past participants:
“I thought the programme was very well organised helpful and delivery excellent. I have endured a long bumpy journey and felt isolated lonely confused and didn’t know where to turn!! I have benefited from the new knowledge delivered and to realise there is support!”
“I thought it was great to be in a room with others in the same boat - very comforting. Sharing experiences and hearing that the way I’m reacting is normal and giving me information how to help.”
“It is stuff I had in my head already, how important self care is etc. but the class really brought it home to me. It gave me strength to follow things through. It didn’t pretend to offer solutions to the problems but rather tools to help which I thought was very good as usually there is no magic solution.”
“It just made me feel better every week. To be with people that go through similar situations, have similar situations, have similar issues with loved ones too, sometimes have a little laugh about well known situations."