EPI Alumni Council

The British Columbia Early Psychosis Intervention Alumni Council is a group of youth and young adults who have come together to share our experience, strength and hope. We want to hear from current and former EPI clients on what helps, what hinders, and what could be done differently to improve the provision of EPI services in the province of British Columbia.

The EPI Alumni Council is affiliated with the Provincial Early Psychosis Advanced Practice Program (EPI APP): a diverse group of stakeholders responsible for providing education, operating https://www.earlypsychosis.ca, and promoting fidelity of EPI services to the model of care outlined in the BC Standards and Guidelines for Early Psychosis Programs.

The goals of the EPI Alumni Council include:

  1. Informing and transforming the development and implementation of EPI peer support programs in British Columbia based on the expertise of persons recovering from psychosis.
  2. Engaging individuals with lived experience in research and evaluation concerning early psychosis and contributing to the academic literature on peer involvement in EPI programs.
  3. Encouraging and facilitating a discourse that de-stigmatizes the experience of psychosis.
  4. Developing an Early Psychosis Intervention Peer Support Program.

Our Values:

  1. Inclusion – all persons and families are truly included in decision-making and planning.
  2. Resilience/strength-based – individuals with experience of psychosis possess numerous strengths that should be supported and developed to build resilience and live meaningful fulfilling lives (could either combine this with 7 Wellness) or put them one after another.
  3. Diversity – Respect for diversity includes taking actions to include, support and for services to employ diversity appropriate approaches and materials (e.g., anti-racism; LGBTQ2A+; dis/ability); a space for everyone! EPI services must take an anti-oppressive approach to treatment by acknowledging the oppressive history of mental health treatment and reducing the negative effects of stigma which continues today.
  4. Personal Wellness – Our own personal wellness, and the wellness of our loved ones are our top priorities.

The EPI Alumni Council is comprised of the following committees to help us achieve our goals:

  1. Steering Committee
    1. Provides support, guidance and oversight of the direction and progress of programs and projects led by EPI Alumni Council committee members
  2. Peer Support Committee
    1. Offer a twice monthly peer support drop-in group to provide mutual aid to former and soon-to-graduate EPI and other early psychosis clients anywhere in British Columbia.
    2. Advocate for the training and employment of Peer Support Workers in mental health treatment settings for youth and young adults throughout British Columbia.
    3. Promote a sense of community among fellow current and former EPI clients.
    4. For more information, please contact epialumnipeers@gmail.com.
  3. Research Committee
    1. Actively involve current and former EPI clients as equal members on the research team. Research participants are empowered to be active members of a larger community and help shape the services they use.
    2. Review current peer support networks in BC, nationally, internationally, to determine needs for youth and young adults, particularly regarding psychosis.
    3. Develop proposals and apply for grants related to EPI (e.g., training and education of peers; research regarding specific protective factors and mechanisms of resilience; exploring the nature of social relationships and community integration after EPI, etc.).
  4. Education & Advisory Committee
    1. Provide input into issues related to EPI in an advisory capacity (e.g., policies, practice guidelines, etc.).
    2. Develop resources for service providers (e.g., physicians, MH workers, persons in a position to refer for specialized assessment, the public, families, schools, government officials, RCMP etc.).
  5. Speaker’s Bureau
    1. Share our experience, strength and hope of living with psychosis
    2. Collaborate with speaker’s bureaus throughout the province, nationally, internationally (e.g., BCSS Partnership Presentations; Jack.org; etc.)