In the aftermath of deinstitutionalisation and the move to community management of schizophrenia, relatives play an increasing role in the management of the illness. Families often complain of being misinformed and ill equipped to aid in the treatment. A supportive/educational intervention for relatives is described and evaluated. Seven parents with a schizophrenic offspring participated in a descriptive pilot study employing a pre-post-treatment design. To test the hypotheses that treatment would impact on participants' distress, burden, family conflict, isolation and knowledge of schizophrenia, before and after measures were taken on self-report indices utilising these features. Generalisation effects on family coping were assessed via tri-weekly telephone interviews for the duration of the study. The intervention included information and sharing sessions. There was a substantial reduction in distress symptoms, anxiety, depression, burden and the amount of family conflict; there was an increase in the duration of home visits, out of home excursions and knowledge of schizophrenia. Most of the subjects' needs were met by the intervention. These gains were achieved with a high level of consumer acceptance. It was concluded that this kind of education has an important role in psychosocial intervention with relatives of the mentally ill.