Psychosis and Early Intervention

In a Tedx Talk, Rachel Waford, PhD, discusses early interventions for psychosis in young people. She explains how symptoms of psychosis can be confusing, and how those experiencing symptoms may not seek help by professionals during the initial onset of these symptoms. Dr. Waford explains the barriers that prevent young people coming into the offices of professionals early on. She notes that there is a critical window of time following the onset of the initial symptoms of psychosis where young people should be treated as early as possible to achieve the greatest impact, which can take months. She explains that the longer a psychotic episode lasts without treatment, the longer one takes to recover, and goes on to discuss the severe consequences of untreated psychosis.

Dr. Waford also discusses the importance of those who have established relationships with young people in their daily routines who may be able to notice signs and symptoms of psychosis and changes in behavior. She explains that helping to identify early signs of psychosis in the mental health community can assist with more young people receiving the help they need. This can be done through information, education, and training of these people who she has referred to as “first responders.” Dr. Waford is working toward breaking away from the stigma of silence and fear in the mental health community.

Reference: Tedx Talks. Early Intervention for Psychosis: Building a Mental Health Community. YouTube. Published November 8, 2018. Accessed May 31, 2022.