Expanded service for psychosis to help young people early
In 2022, VCH’s Early Psychosis Intervention (EPI) Program expanded to bring care closer to home for clients and families. Specialized EPI services are now available to young people aged 13 to 30, who show early signs of psychosis, throughout Vancouver, Richmond and Coastal communities of care.
What is psychosis?
Psychosis is a treatable medical condition that affects a person's brain.
What are the signs and symptoms of psychosis?
A person experiencing psychosis has a loss of some contact with reality. Meaning, a person with psychosis is, at times, unable to tell the difference between what is real and what is in their mind, changing their perceptions, thoughts, beliefs and behaviours.
Early intervention for psychosis can greatly increase the likelihood of a positive outcome and improves quality of life.
Psychosis can result from different causes and present differently in each person. Our comprehensive services and care are available to those who have early symptoms and are delivered by interdisciplinary teams. Having dedicated EPI teams in more communities helps reduce barriers when accessing person-centered care and supports.
Early intervention for psychosis can greatly increase the likelihood of a positive outcome and improves quality of life. When a person with psychosis gets help fast, they can regain the ability to think clearly, reengage with goals, meet developmental milestones and reduce social isolation, depression and the potential risk of harm to self or others.
EPI teams include:
- social workers,
- occupational therapists,
- clinical counsellors,
- rehabilitation staff and
- peer support workers.
Teams work collaboratively to provide assessments, care plans, medication management as well as supports for patients to set goals that maintain a healthy lifestyle such as going to school and finding work.
Recognizing that individuals and families are partners in care, the EPI program also provides psychoeducation and a safe space for families to share their concerns, learn about symptoms of psychosis and discuss new ways to support their loved one.
In 2022, 454 individuals received EPI services throughout VCH’s three communities of care: Vancouver, Richmond and Coastal.