Vancouver/Richmond EPI
Early Psychosis Intervention

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Recovery Phase

With available treatments, the great majority of people recover well or fully from their initial episode of psychosis.

The recovery process is dynamic, affected by a number of interacting factors. These include the treatment environment, medication and psychological therapies, factors within the person and factors within the person's family and social environment. The recovery process will vary from person to person and take different lengths of time for each person.

Specific issues to be dealt with in the recovery phase include helping the person and family make sense of the illness experience and helping the person to re-establish a confident sense of themselves, which will allow them to return to their premorbid (premorbid: before illness) level of functioning. Problems such as post-psychotic depression, anxiety disorders, altered sense of self, loss of confidence and social withdrawal need to be addressed directly in a preventive manner. Assistance with housing, employment and study may also be required.

To achieve maximal recovery, a supportive and collaborative approach to the person and their family, use of a range of specialist treatments and a comprehensive biopsychosocial approach is essential. All interventions should commence from the time of initial presentation and diagnosis. Medication is usually continued for at least twelve months and often much longer.

Following recovery from a first episode, a significant number of people will never experience a recurrence of psychosis. Others will develop recurring episodes of psychosis, but be relatively well in between and continue a productive life. During recovery phase, these possibilities will be discussed and the person and their family will be provided with information about the risk of relapse. Guidelines for recognizing and seeking treatment for relapses at the earliest possible stage will also be provided as part of the general focus on individual and family education. Definitive prognosis (prognosis: illness outcome) is not possible.

The number of people who develop significant disability from a first episode is small.

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Vancouver/Richmond Early Psychosis Intervention Program

Vancouver, BC, V5N 5P9