Relatives & Friends Programme

We are now offering the programme in both a virtual and a face-to-face group setting, so you can choose the most appropriate setting for you.

What is the Relatives & Friends Programme?

The Relatives & Friends Programme is a psychoeducational programme designed specifically for those supporting a loved one experiencing depression or bipolar disorder. The aim is to focus on the self-care of the supporter, while also equipping the supporter with the tools to understand and support a loved one experiencing depression or bipolar disorder.

The programme is delivered in 90 minute sessions across four weeks and is available to anyone aged 18 years and over, who resides in Ireland.

Register for the Relatives & Friends Programme

We are pleased to start resuming our in-person services and programmes. We will continue to offer virtual options across all of our services but we feel it is also important to provide in-person options as the country reopens. As we navigate this reopening, the safety of the public, our volunteers, our training partners and our staff remains of paramount importance to Aware. It is crucial that people feel safe and comfortable accessing and delivering our services.

Virtual Programmes

Essential considerations:

  • Reliable Wi-Fi and a quiet space where you will not be interrupted, with an area to complete exercises / worksheets easily during each session
  • Arrange to print 5 worksheets that will be emailed to you prior to the start date
  • Ideally be in a position to attend all four consecutive weeks 

If you do not have a zoom account, you will need to create an account and download the desktop app.

Create a Zoom account >>

Download desktop client >>

Aware is unable to offer technical support. Please contact Zoom for additional information and support.

Zoom Technical Support >>

Zoom is compatible with smartphones and tablets, but we strongly recommend using a laptop or PC.

You will receive Zoom details in advance. If you do not receive any communications from Aware after registering, please check your spam/junk folder. If it is not to be found, please contact to let us know.

Face-to-Face Programmes

Essential considerations:

  • We ask only participants who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to attend Face-to-Face Relatives & Friends. If you are not vaccinated, we would ask you avail of the virtual options for this programme
  • We would request all participants ideally be in a position to attend all four consecutive weeks of the programme

There is a refundable booking fee of €30 for this programme (or €10 if you are a student, unemployed, over 65 or hold a medical card). You can request a refund by emailing upon completion. Alternatively, if you enjoyed the course and are in a position to support Aware, you can leave your booking fee as a donation.

November Programme

This programme is available in two formats:

  • Face-to-Face
  • Virtual (via Zoom)

The programme runs for 4 weeks in each location, the sessions are 90 minutes each week.

Mondays | 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th Nov
Virtual @ 7.00pm @  7.30pm

Tuesdays | 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th Nov
Meath @ 7.00pm
Virtual @ 10.00am @ 7.00pm

Wednesdays | 10th, 17th, 24th Nov & 1st Dec
Kildare @ 6.30pm
Dublin @ 7.30pm
Virtual @ 2.30pm @ 6.30pm

Thursdays | 11th, 18th, 25th Nov & 2nd Dec
Dublin @ 7.00pm
Virtual @  7.30pm

Fridays | 12th, 19th, 26th Nov & 3rd Dec
Virtual @ 11.30am

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.

Register Now

What to expect

The Relatives & Friends Programme is delivered in workshop style to offer a participative learning environment. Each session is 90 minutes long and facilitated by a mental health professional. 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 15 people.

The content of the programme 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.

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
  • 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.”

    Other programmes available:


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