Assessment of Psychosis

This section provides an overview of the assessment and interventions used in most EPI programs.

The program typically has a team consisting of psychiatrists, nurses, family and group therapists, clinicians and occupational therapists.

EPI services start with a thorough assessment to enable the team to develop an individualized treatment plan for each client.

Assessments include a history of the person’s life, including accomplishments and challenges, physical problems, development through life, and social and school functioning.

EPI services are required to maintain client privacy and confidentiality according to the Freedom of Information and Protection Act of BC. That means we are required to get your permission before sharing any information you tell us or about your medical condition.

However the team is required by law to inform authorities and share information with them if you tell us you are at risk or putting yourself, or someone else at risk, of serious harm or abuse (including emotional, physical or sexual abuse).

A family medical history will be taken that includes a history of any mental disorders in the family and other medical conditions.

Sometimes certain medical tests may need to be done to determine the cause of the psychosis or if there are other significant health problems.

Specific vulnerabilities are also the focus of this assessment, such as ongoing significant stress, trauma, support systems (friends, family, school, church) and the use of street drugs and alcohol as these can act as triggers of relapse.

A fuller description of the assessment process can be found in the BC EPI Standards and Guidelines.

One or more interviews with members of the team – one of whom is usually a psychiatrist, helps to identify specific symptoms of psychosis as well as other symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Although these interviews can be intimidating initially, but they get easier as the relationship gets built.

It is usually very helpful to get additional information from family members or other significant support persons.

Sometimes it can take some time to gather all the information that is required to build a full treatment plan.

After treatment has begun, the team will monitor successes and challenges throughout the young person’s time in the program.  The EPI team works closely with the person and their family to make adjustments to the treatment and supports as they are needed.