… With the help of my EPI team I got back on track, but I didn’t take full advantage of the services offered. A year and a half later I had a relapse. I was once again humbled by mental illness. I entered the 8-week educational group where we learned all about psychosis, the importance of medication, relapse prevention and stress management and connected with other youth who were going through similar struggles. Slowly but surely I got back to school, socializing and loving life again. – Brent, Youth

Becoming educated about psychosis and what is related to it is an important part of treatment because it allows the person and family to understand the experience and what to expect with the treatments that are recommended.

Education is generally conducted when the person and their family are ready and should include information about the following:

  1. the disorders in which psychosis occurs
  2. psychosocial treatments and medications including side effects
  3. the effects of street drugs
  4. early signs of relapse
  5. family education – it is important that family members be educated about the disorder, what to expect, and how to support their young person as well taking of care of themselves. 
  6. the need for on-going care – this education is important in helping individuals with psychosis understand why it is important to continue taking medications, even after symptoms improve.

Better understanding helps the partnership with the treatment team, decreases stress, improves engagement with treatment and leads to better outcomes.

In BC, the Early Psychosis Standards and Guidelines indicate that clients and families should receive at least 10 hours of education over the first six months in treatment.