Call our National Helpline on 01-2107906 or email

PiLaR Programme for Families – An Evaluation by UCD

On February 26th, Minister for Mental Health, Jim Daly, launched an evaluation of the Bodywhys PiLaR programme. The the free 4 week evening programme provides support to parents, carers and family members of people affected by an eating disorder.

The evaluation report was conducted at the request of and funded by, the National Clinical Programme for Eating Disorders, HSE. With thanks to Dr Ingrid Holme, medical sociologist, and Professor Fiona McNicholas, psychiatrist, based at the UCD Department of Psychiatry who evaluated the programme.

Since 2014, over 600 family members have attended the PiLaR programme.

PiLaR Evaluation Report – PDF

Evaluation Report – Key Findings

  • Within the current context of service provision for eating disorders, PiLaR, as a free and “open to all” progamme is a valued source for information and support to family and friends supporting a loved one with eating disorders
  • Self-reported data indicates that caring for a loved one with an eating disorder impacts on family and friends’ mental health, there needs to be adequate support for their own mental well-being and further research is required in this area.
  • This research highlights ways in which PiLaR can be further developed to fully exploit its potential in line with the role out of the Clinical Programme.

Quotes from Evaluation Report

  • I feel I have got a better understanding of what my daughter is going through. I’m not lying awake each night anymore.
  • I feel a lot calmer and a lot more confident to support my sister in what she’s going through. Initially, I felt very emotionally raw, but now I feel I have a better understanding of eating disorders and how to cope with my sister’s behaviour.

Forthcoming PilaR programmes locations:

Laois – Thursday, February 28th

Westmeath – Thursday, March 28th

PiLaR Dublin – St. Vincent’s University Hospital – Thursday, 2nd May

PiLaR Limerick – Thursday, 2nd May

Further details here.

Places are FREE, but booking is essential. Please contact Niamh Clarke, 01-2834963,