NAMI is continuing to build on its work to help families and young adults who may be experiencing the onset of symptoms of psychosis to add to the extensive Psychosis website resources. In 2011, NAMI published the results of First Episode: Psychosis, an extensive survey of people living with psychosis and their families looking back at the onset of symptoms, sharing what they needed to know as they reflected on their experience. After a full literature review of both creative and traditional treatments and services, and a new brochure that attends to this issue, NAMI has created Early Psychosis and Recovery, a podcast series on the topic to bring an audio resource to people who may be facing this challenge.
The podcast series is led by Ken Duckworth, M.D., NAMI’s medical director, who also works at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (MMHC) Prevention and Recovery from Early Psychosis (PREP) program one afternoon a week. NAMI has also invited Michelle Friedman-Yakoobian, Ph.D., to co-host the series. Dr. Friedman-Yakoobian is based at the MMHC Center for Early Detection and Response to Risk (CEDAR) and will help Dr. Duckworth develop a series of conversations with individuals living with psychosis, family members and experts in key areas of this growing field.
The goal of the podcast series is to support listeners to develop a good understanding of early psychosis and possible associated diagnoses and to review recovery strategies rooted both in experience and in the latest science. We hope to make key information easily accessible to people when they are facing a tremendous life challenge and may not have the information or tools to cope with it.
“There is a national movement in identifying and serving individuals earlier in the course of their illness. This is sorely needed given the state of mental health care today,” said Dr. Duckworth. “For example, we know from the NAMI schizophrenia survey [First Episode: Psychosis] and the scientific literature that getting a diagnosis of schizophrenia may take up to 10 years. This is a finding that creates unnecessary suffering and to missed opportunities to offer quicker assessment and intervention to build a road to recovery.”
In an effort to drive advocacy to promote increased attention to the need for early intervention and to support a better informed individual and family community, NAMI believes that initiatives such as the Early Psychosis and Recovery podcast series will be a part of changing this equation for the better.
The podcast series can be found at NAMI.org and is also available to download from iTunes for free. This inaugural podcast is the first in a series of five that will be produced and available beginning now and continuing through the end of the year.