Family & Caregiver Support Programs

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Receiving a diagnosis of a psychotic spectrum disorder and the subsequent treatment that is necessary for a patient to thrive can be stressful for the individual, but also for his or her family. Family engagement and understanding is a critical part of recovery. Frequently, however, family members are unsure how to support their loved one. Furthermore, caring or supporting a loved one with mental illness can be emotionally challenging, isolating, and overwhelming. Family and caregivers need support and guidance themselves.

In order to overcome these challenges, the SPIRIT Lab at the University of Washington is partnering with local, national, and international leaders in mental health to develop a network of resources that support families in their care of a loved one with psychosis. Our team at the University of Washington is proud to advocate for caregivers by connecting them with the practical resources, information, and skills necessary to prevent a loved one from falling through the cracks or losing hope. Furthermore, we provide opportunities and forums in which families and caregivers’ lived experience inform the development of future supportive community programs.

Inside Schizophrenia: Caregiving for Schizophrenia

Caregiving for Schizophrenia

In this episode, host Rachel Star and Gabe Howard break down the principles of caregiving and creative ways to navigate schizophrenia. Dr. Sarah Kopelovich joins to share schizophrenia caregiver specific training. Click here to listen to the episode.

Current and upcoming initiatives

Psychosis REACH

Psychosis REACH is a two-day training that offers concrete, evidence-based skills for relatives and friends of individuals with psychotic disorders to better care for and relate to their loved ones. It takes a proven psychotherapy for people with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and modifies it to the needs of caregivers.

Learn more →

Family Bridger Pilot Program

Family-to-family support is a burgeoning area of practice with an increasing evidence-base. We are currently piloting a Family Bridger program, whereby trained family members are available to provide support and resources to other families when their loved one with psychosis enters outpatient, emergency department, or inpatient care. We have pilot-tested this model, assessing feasibility and acceptability in order to further develop and expand the Family Bridger program, and anticipate wider dessemination in 2022.

Learn More →

How to Support These Family Programs

The SPIRIT Lab is committed to helping individuals and families who are navigating life with psychosis. Psychosis REACH and the Family Bridger programs were launched with donor funding, and philanthropic supports enables us to continue to provide these programs to families free of charge.

To support our work, please visit You may also contact David Chow, director for philanthropy, at or 207-956-1806. Thank you!

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