Research over the decade has confirmed repeatedly that the earlier that people get treatment for the early signs of mental illness (especially schizophrenia) the better the long term outcome for the person. The first suggestive signs of psychosis are now well known. A person might become suspicious, or start to hear a voice, but still recognize that these things are not tethered to reality. They may withdraw from friends and family, or have trouble focusing at school or work. The criteria for this ‘at risk’ category differ slightly between researchers, but they all require that a person is sufficiently distressed by their symptoms. We have our own “Schizophrenia screening test” here on the site to help people with this directly.
Important questions remain. How do we address prodromal (early) symptoms, when the adolescent doesn’t really meet the criteria fully for a psychiatric illness? What we do in terms of the social support and pharmacologic support, if necessary?”
Patrick McGorry, MD, PhD, psychiatrist and professor of youth mental health at the University of Melbourne, Australia, will give a lecture addressing these issues titled, “Youth Mental Health: The Case for Transformational Reform in Mental Health Care.”
Here is a brief overview of this important area by Dr. McGorry at this week’s APA (American Psychiatric Association) conference and trade show:
You can read more about this important topic at the following links:
Designing youth mental health services for the 21st century: examples from Australia, Ireland and the UK
Cochrane, Early Intervention, and Mental Health Reform
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