The families, support networks, and partners of people with psychosis should be more involved in their loved ones’ interventions and treatments.
That is one of the recommendations of new guidance, ‘Family interventions in Psychosis’, published today by the British Psychological Society.
The guidance suggests that psychologists have a key role to play in advocating for, supporting and delivering family-inclusive practice for all people involved in the care of someone with psychosis.
People affected by psychosis tend to turn to those closest to them for support, as is often the case with mental health concerns, but families and support networks are often unsure of the best way to provide support for complex issues that can cause severe distress. Such distressing experiences can take a devastating toll on families.
Services have often tended to have an individualised view of mental distress, trying to work solely with the individual involved without incorporating the people around them, while the evidence showing that outcomes are better for service users and their families when family interventions are used.
Further work needs to be done to support systemically focused mental health services. This has been made even more significant with the isolation and pressure on families to support their loved ones.
Dr Jo Allen, lead author of the guidance, said: ‘These guidelines have been a long time coming. NHS England has done much to support Family Interventions Training and implementation, and we hope to provide clarity over best practice and implementation concerns. We are grateful to all the experts in the field and practitioners who have contributed.’