Vancouver/Richmond EPI
Early Psychosis Intervention

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Treatment and Recovery

For Families

Coping with Stress and Crises

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For our purposes, we have defined a crisis as any type of situation that causes one to experience unusually strong emotional reactions.

This may interfere with your ability to function in your usual way.

You may find yourself:

  • worrying excessively
  • having trouble sleeping
  • eating too much or too little
  • having difficulty concentrating
  • or having any number of physical, behavioural or emotional reactions.

It may be a mild reaction or a severe one, depending on what the actual crisis is and how well prepared you are in terms of resources and supports.

Having a family member or close friend with a psychiatric problem is usually an unexpected event in the family. Because this is a new situation you probably haven't developed efficient ways to cope and probably feel quite alone, confused and uncertain as to how to proceed.


click on to the relevant term:

Some tips to help you get through the initial days:

  • Recognize the intensity of the experience, its very stressful nature, and that it is natural that you have a reaction.
  • Find supports to help you. Don't try to cope alone. This may be a family member, close friend, colleague, perhaps a counselor or your family doctor. Discussing what has happened is a way to begin to cope. The British Columbia Schizophrenia Society and the Mood Disorders Association are excellent resources.
  • Try to look after yourself by getting plenty of rest even if you can't sleep. Eating regular, nutritious meals. Exercise is a wonderful stress release.

Check out the Stress portion of the web site for more ideas.

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Vancouver/Richmond Early Psychosis Intervention Program

Vancouver, BC, V5N 5P9