Sunday, June 29, 2012

Health News

Tooling With Psychosis

New self help kit helps people get a handle on mental illness

Released by Fraser Health Authority


eople experiencing psychosis will be better able to manage the symptoms and life altering effects of their condition using a new psychosis toolkit developed by the Ministry of Health and Fraser Health.


The toolkit, called Dealing with Psychosis: A toolkit for moving forward with you life (here), will empower people experiencing psychosis who are working to take control of their lives.


Often considered a disruptive, confusing and frightening experience, psychosis affects a person's ability to know what is real versus what is not. Further blurring the lines of reality, sufferers of psychosis typically experience hearing voices and having unusual thoughts.


"I am extremely pleased to see the results of Fraser Health's thoughtful research and consultation with clinical experts. This tool reflects the work underway as part of our 10-year plan to address mental health and substance use and will help better support individuals living with this condition.

This is an excellent example of what we can accomplish when all the partners share a common vision to improve health services and outcomes for the people in our communities," Michael de Jong, Minister of Health, said in a release Friday.


About 3% of all people will experience psychosis at some point in their lives.


Development of such a resource counters widespread assumptions about the ability of individuals with psychosis to be active learners and managers of their own well-being.

Recognizing the importance of having support from family and friends in the treatment of psychosis, the toolkit encourages individuals to identify a "Support Person" who will assist them in their learning process.


This person will "walk with" the client through the educational and coping strategies beneficial to recovery. Along with encouraging the support of a friend, family or health professional, the toolkit provides concrete, simple solutions for managing life.


One example is using a calendar, or daily planner, to reduce stress and ensure a good balance of time for family, friends, recreation and relaxation - all important elements in dealing with, and avoiding future episodes of psychosis.


Dr. Bill MacEwan, physician leader for the Early Psychosis Intervention Program at Fraser Health, Director of the Schizophrenia Program and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, says that the condition is treatable.

"With this toolkit, and the love and support of their family, friends and health care professionals, people will be able to move forward with their lives. This guide, when used along with professional medical treatment, will enable individuals to cope and recognize the symptoms of psychosis, and develop techniques to deal with everyday challenges."

The toolkit was developed through a thorough review of the published research evidence, consultation with provincial experts in the area of early psychosis, and a Provincial Advisory Committee represented by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Children and Family Development, health authorities, and feedback from individuals with psychosis, family members, and clinicians.


About FHA
Fraser Health is a proud leader of mental health research and treatment. By providing a wide range of integrated health services to the largest and fastest growing population in BC, Fraser Health is committed to improving the health and quality of life of over 1.6 million people living in communities from Burnaby to White Rock to Hope.

Go here for more information from Fraser Health or get a copy of the Psychosis Toolkit here.

Interested in getting more information or a copy of the toolkit?


Copyright (c) 2012 The Valley Voice