Advice For Families & Friends

It can be hard coping with a friend or loved-one who suffers from Psychosis. Here’s some tips on how to help.

Remember, Psychosis IS treatable

Advice for families & friends

It can be very worrying if you think someone close to you is experiencing Psychosis. You know something is “not quite right” and can feel confused, shocked and bewildered but not really know what to do. You may hope that it is just a phase that will all blow over and go away. However, research studies have shown that delay in getting treatment can make things worse in the long term.

Families, partners or friends often find it hard to take the first step to obtain help for many reasons. They may be unsure what the problem is. The person experiencing a psychotic episode may not wish to get help or even acknowledge that they are unwell. It can be extremely difficult to cope with a person who is in a psychotic state.

Often the first step is to visit the GP who can then refer to more specialised professionals such as psychiatrists, mental health centres, or services that specialise in early Psychosis. The Early Intervention Team is one such specialised service and we take referrals from families and friends as well as GPs and other professionals.

Should I refer to the EI Team?

In the early stages it can be hard to tell if someone is showing signs of Psychosis. But if you suspect things are not well with your loved one or friend the quicker they get help the better. By contacting the Early Intervention Team you can talk to a qualified team member for some advice on what to do. If we don’t think that we are the right ones to help we can offer advice on what else to try or put you in contact with alternative services.

Emergency situations & checking on safety

The experience of Psychosis can be very distressing. Always take talk of suicide or self harm seriously. Listen to the person’s concerns and show them that you love and care for them. See if any stressors that may be adding to their depression can be reduced. Notify the GP or a mental health professional if the ideas persist and above all, stay positive.

In the rare event of an emergency or life-threatening situation, you must ensure that the individual gets professional help immediately. This may be done by accompanying them to the appropriate service or by using your local hospital emergency department, emergency ambulance service or the police.