October 15, 2004

Early Intervention Program in Canada

For "Patricia" (not her real name), The Early Psychosis Program in Alberta, Canada was a godsend.

Patricia's parents became concerned when they began recieving odd, nonsensical emails from their daughter, who was doing research in Pakistan. They arranged her referral to the Early Psychosis Program at Foothills Hospital, an internationally-recognized program that treats about 700 outpatients a year.

EPP is equipped to deal with three phases of psychosis: the prodome (psychotic episode), the schizophreniform disorder (lasting up to six months), and full-blown schizophrenia. Patients are enrolled in a three-year treatment program under the supervision of a doctor and a case manager. The essential role of the case manager, an element missing from many medical treatment plans, is to help integrate the patient back into work, school, and home environments. A caseworker also helps patients find partner programs and services in their own communities.

EPP is looking to expand its message and its mission, through a public information campaign that will include media public service announcements, television/radio ads, and an educational website (http://www.thesoonerthebetter.ca).

Numerous research studies (see The Importance of Early Detection and Treatment for Schizophrenia on the schizophrenia.com Symptoms/Diagnosis page) have shown that early diagnosis and correct intervention for psychiatric disorders greatly improves an individual's prognosis.

That certainly seems to be the case among patients treated under EPP's model: duration of untreated psychosis in the Calgary region is among the lowest in the world, and the area also has reduced attempted suicides and suicide rates, lower relapses, improved quality of life, and excellent continuity of care.

The Early Psychosis Program seems to be an excellent coordinated-care model for people with schizophrenia or at-risk for schizophrenia. Hopefully similar programs will be initiated in other ares in the near future.

To learn more about the Early Psychosis Program in Alberta, see http://www.earlypsychosis.ca, or call 944-4836 (for local calls inside Canada region).

Original Source: "Early intervention key to psychosis treatment" (Oct 14, 2004). The Calgary Herald (Alberta).

More information: Global List of Early Psychosis Treatment Centers


I am a mother whose son has been diagnosed with addiction with psychosis and schizophrenia. I have been through hell and back for the last two months. Have no place to put my son for a long term stay to keep him on the medication and for him to understand his diagnosis. Here in BC there is no place to put a 19 year old to have him stay for 3 months or longer to get him stable. I am at my wit's end. I have support from the Mission Mental Health and my family and outside my community but I need to do more because he will not be able to function on his own. MY SON IS MY LIFE AND I LOVE HIM VERY MUCH. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Posted by: Joanne Wiseman at August 4, 2007 09:44 PM

Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?
(you may use HTML tags for style)
* indicates required