Authors: Anne Silbereisen
Event: 2002 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings Partnerships in Youth Mental Health, PEER SUPPORT, PSYCHOSIS
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The paper outlines the development, implementation and evaluation of RAVE, a peer support and psychoeducational program for young people who have experienced a first episode of psychosis. The evaluation of the group was based on participants' and case managers’ ratings of the impact of the group on participants’ recovery measured across a range of items. The results indicated that young people who attended the group over eight sessions showed increased scores on almost all items including understanding of psychosis, confidence in accessing treatment and support, increase in positive experiences, and increased satisfaction with social contacts. Case managers similarly reported positive outcomes in terms of clients’ recovery and adherence to treatment, increased self esteem and coping skills. The results suggest the group is an effective intervention for young people with early psychosis and it is recommended that such a group be included as part of the service’s early intervention practice. A number of recommendations were made for enhancing the effectiveness of the group including increasing the number of sessions to provide more opportunity for training in positive coping skills; and concurrently running a 2-3 session information and support group for participants’ families as a way of reinforcing support at home. The importance of activities sessions and providing time for informal socialisation, as a means of increasing participants’ positive experiences and self esteem, and providing opportunity for re-development of social skills, was highlighted.