Targeted Self-Management for Epilepsy and Mental Illness

A Program to improve Both Epilepsy and Mental Health Outcomes




Improve mental health and epilepsy management in your life.



Register an institution or organization in order to offer this important program to patients.

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Program Snapshot


Key Components

  • Challenges imposed by depression, stress and other psychological problems are addressed and de-stigmatized.

  • Information-sharing in an accessible manner that fosters motivation for active self-management.

  • Guided with a standardized manual and handouts that re-emphasize materials tailored to the needs of the participants.

GOAL: to improve both epilepsy and mental health outcomes among individuals with epilepsy and comorbidity.


Program Description

TIME (Targeted Self-Management for Epilepsy and Mental Illness) is a psychosocial treatment program that blends psychoeducation, problem identification/goal-setting, and behavioral modeling/reinforcement in a group format to improve epilepsy and mental health outcomes among adults with epilepsy and mental illness.

TIME is designed to improve health management for people with epilepsy by increasing care engagement, optimizing use of evidence-based treatments, adoption of a healthy life-style to minimize seizure risk, and addressing co-morbid mental health conditions that complicate epilepsy outcomes.

In-person group sessions are held over a 10-12 week time period and co-led by a trained nurse educator and a trained peer educator. The peer educator is someone with both epilepsy and experience with a mental health condition. Groups follow a  written curriculum, and each sessions lasts 60-90 minutes concluding with an interactive discussion. Groups are limited to about 6- 10 adult participants.

After the group sessions are done, Individuals have 2 telephone maintenance sessions with the nurse educator spaced approximately 2 weeks apart.


Target population

Adults with epilepsy and comorbid mental illness such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or schizophrenia.

6-10 participants per group.


Trained nurse educator and trained peer educator.

Training Requirements

Nurse and peer educator orientation and training: 2-half day sessions.

Debriefing sessions with the nurse and peer educators as needed (expect 2-4 over 1 year).

Resource Requirements

Adequate space for group sessions and ability to display PowerPoint to group.

Toll-free number and teleconference line available for those unable to attend in-person sessions.

Reimbursement costs of public transportation to in-person sessions for individuals that do not have other resources. Original program costs for this were in the order of $5/per person/session.


The cost of TIME varies based upon staffing and number of participants in a group and geographical setting. The following reflect original program costs:

  • Nurse educators are typically paid $50/session including training sessions.

  • Peer educators are typically paid $25-$30/session including training sessions.

Other costs include printing the TIME instructor manual, TIME participant manuals, and session PowerPoint slides.

After the initial training, the time commitment for Nurse and Peer educators should not exceed 1-3 hours/week.


Program Contact

To learn more about becoming a program adopter or if you wish to participate in the TIME program contact:

Martha Sajatovic




Program Availability

The team that developed TIME is currently implementing and scaling up this evidence-based program in a community setting in partnership with a local Epilepsy Association and with funding from the Cuyahoga County (OH) Addiction and Mental Health Services Board.

Program Development & Evaluation

Developed with input from patients with these conditions and health care providers, TIME was found to be more effective than treatment as usual (Sajatovic et al 2016).