The best hope for the prevention of schizophrenia lies with indicated preventive interventions targeted at individuals manifesting precursor signs and symptoms who have not yet met full criteria for diagnosis. The identification of individuals at this early stage, coupled with psychosocial interventions like psycho education and cognitive therapy have shown to be very hopeful in preventing a psychotic disorder. These early intervention programs for patients with an at risk mental state for psychosis become part of the continuum of regular mental health care services.
In Friesland an early intervention programme is implemented since 2008. Earlier research showed patients with an at risk mental state, who have problems with social and role functioning, to have an increased risk of transition to psychosis (Cannon, 1999; Addington 2008) and vice versa, patients with an at risk mental state who developed a psychosis had higher drop out rates at school and work (Cornblatt, 2010). Therefore interventions aimed at social functioning and role functioning skills are from great importance at late adolescence and early adultness (Yung, 1996).
In this session we will talk about the detection of patients at risk for psychosis as well as the pitfalls, challenges and benefits we experienced with supported education and supported employment for this population.
Roeline Nieboer, Nynke Boonstra, Margriet Oosterkamp, Mirjam Koree, Boudien van der
Pol and Aaltsje Malda all work as mental health practitioners at GGz Friesland, a Mental Health organization in the province of Friesland.