We have to change the procedures already in place. Yes, a few procedures will need to change, but they are minimal compared to the changes required for assertive community treatment or supported employment (other EBPs). Set up methods for determining which consumers have family available and join with families as soon as possible during an acute episode.
Provide meaningful reasons and incentives
Other key decision-makers in the programagency CEOs, financial directors, and medical directors—need incentives. They need to understand the cost-benefit ratios to buy into the suggested program change and to support the rest of the process.
Bring in outside speakers to inform and inspire the staff
Engaging a guest speaker who is a well-known expert in the field and a fellow practitioner can advance the credibility of your program. Consumers and their families can also testify about their experiences with family psychoeducation. This is especially effective if their agency is similar to yours.
Connecting family practitioners with colleagues who have similar roles in established programs is useful. Case managers tend to listen to other case managers, psychiatrists to psychiatrists.
Frame the adoption of FPE in positive terms
When discussing family psychoeducation with your agency use examples from practitioners who discover how their work suddenly seems more interesting, how they develop a more positive relationship with consumers and families, and how their work load (especially crisis intervention) decreases over time.
Educate practitioners about the research
Include studies and clinical experience that show good results in a variety of cultural groups (such as African-American, Chinese, Southeast Asians, Latino-Americans and others), socioeconomic populations, and geographic settings.
Use a consumer-centered management approach
(See appendix and the Illness Management and Recovery resource kit for more information.) This approach lets practitioners and clinical supervisors measure progress and success by consumer outcomes, rather than by process measures, such as hours of therapy or time in day treatment programs.
Making the change to a family psychoeducation program
Your goal in implementing the new program is to redesign the process of care so that it is easy for practitioners to completely commit to the family psychoeducation model. As a mental health program leader, you need to understand some of the family psychoeducation activities and procedures so that you can support the efforts of your staff.
Family Psychoeducation Toolkit