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The Evidenced-Based Practices Project presents public mental health authorities with a unique opportunity to improve clinical services for adults with severe mental illness. Service system research has evolved to a point where it can identify a cluster of practices that demonstrate a consistent, positive impact on the lives of people who have experienced psychiatric symptoms. These practices include integrated dual disorders treatment, supported employment, illness management and recovery, assertive community treatment, medication management and approaches to psychiatry, and family psychoeducation. This document focuses on family psychoeducation.

What is Family Psychoeducation?

Family psychoeducation is a specific method of working in partnership with consumers and families in a long-term treatment model to help them develop increasingly sophisticated coping skills for handling problems posed by mental illness. The goal is that practitioner, consumer, and family work together to support recovery. It almost always engenders hope in place of desperation and demoralization. There is abundant evidence for its effectiveness in working with consumers who experience schizophrenic disorders, but there is increasing research support, as well, for its use with mood disorders, OCD, borderline personality disorders, and even for consumers who lack family support altogether. Thus, those families and consumers with the most severe psychiatric disorders will experience the greatest benefit from FPE.

What is an Implementation Resource Kit?

Extensive research demonstrates that implementing family psychoeducation in routine mental health settings dramatically improves the lives of people with severe mental illness. To this end, a implementation resource kit has been designed to involve family members, consumers, mental health program leaders, and practitioners along with public mental health authorities in a consolidated effort to implement family psychoeducation into routine mental health settings. The goal is to support the recovery process of consumers by reducing symptoms, rehospitalizations, isolation, and unemployment.

Implementation resource kits include: a practitioners workbook, a review of the scientific evidence for superior outcomes, web-based resources, separate information sheets for families, consumers and practitioners, introductory and skills training videotapes,

suggestions for mental health program leaders and administrators, recommendations, and information about outcome measures and fidelity scales.


What is the role of the public mental health authority in implementing evidence-based practices?

One of the primary and essential roles of the public mental health authority (PMHA) is to serve as leader in bringing all the stakeholders together (consensus building) to firmly understand and articulate a vision of family psychoeducation and a plan for the implementation of family psychoeducation across a mental health system. This can be accomplished by using evidence to demonstrate that the quality of care improves with the implementation of this practice without significantly increasing costs. The public mental health authority plays a pivotal role in assuring buy-in from the stakeholder groups.

Family Psychoeducation Toolkit


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