Family & Caregiver Support Programs

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  3. Family Interventions for Psychosis

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 their 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 Evidence Based Practices for Adults team 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.

Upcoming Initiatives

Psychosis Reach

  • The Psychosis REACH training aims to provide relatives and friends of individuals with psychotic spectrum disorders with concrete, evidence-based skills to better care for and relate to their loved ones.

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Family Bridger 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 are currently pilot-testing this model, and assessing feasibility and acceptability in order to further develop and expand the Family Bridger program

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  • Dr. Kate Hardy presented a 1-hour webinar on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for psychosis geared toward family members and loved ones as part of the National Alliance on Mental Illness “Ask the Expert” series on March 22, 2019. Click HERE to watch the webinar.
  • Dr. Sarah Kopelovich presented on Psychosis REACH, a training in CBT-informed skills for family members caring for a love one with psychosis, at the Psychosis Speaker Series held by Ohio State University EPICENTER on April 30, 2021. You can view this presentation by clicking here.
  • Jennifer Blank, Dr. Sarah Kopelovich, and Trez Buckland also presented on Psychosis REACH at the Washington Behavioral Healthcare Conference on June 16, 2021. This presentation provided an overview of the new training model, presented preliminary data on Psychosis REACH’s impact, and discussed the recently developed Family Ambassador role! You can view this presentation by clicking here.

Additional Rescources

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