Authors: Benjamin Freedman and Barbara Anderson, QLD
Event: 2006 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Inside Art, Madness & Services, EARLY INTERVENTION PSYCHOSIS STRATEGIES,MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAMS AND WORKING TOGETHER,RURAL / REMOTE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Intervention in early psychosis has gained momentum over the past decade, with a growing body of literature describing best-practice principles and models of service (Herman-Doig et al 2003). The potential benefits of early intervention include reduced morbidity, more rapid recovery, better prognosis, preservation of psychosocial skills, preservation of family and social supports, and decreased need for hospitalisation (Edwards and McGorry 2002). In Australia the majority of service development and research comes from large metropolitan services with access to early psychosis specialists, infrastructure and resources that are often out of the reach of regional centres. The Recovery of Attitudes and Dreams (ROADS) program is a partnership between Mental Illness Fellowship of North Queensland and Townsville District Institute of Mental Health Service that reaches out and responds to the unique challenges of early psychosis intervention. It provides best-practice social, psychological and biological treatment for young people and their families in a regional setting, with efficacy that is comparable to larger programs in major service centres. This paper describes the evolution of the ROADS collaborative partnership. It explores the bottom-up/top-down development model, and concludes with some reflections on the key features of successful collaboration from the five year partnership. It will demonstrate that with creativity, connection, collaboration, and a clinician-driven bottom-up approach, regional service centres can provide a best-practice EP service that mirrors those in major metropolitan centres.