1. Understanding psychosis



When people experience mental health and/or substance use problems, their lives are significantly affected—and they are not alone in their experiences.

The impact of mental illness and addictions extends beyond the person to family members, friends, co-workers and others. It is important to understand the impact of these issues on you and other family members, as well as the role you can play in recovery. In this course, we use the term “family” inclusively to refer to any circle of support that is based on a strong connection and that includes people who may or may not be biologically related to one another. We use family and relative interchangeably.

Many people who experience a first episode of psychosis live with their families or are dependent on their family in some way. You, as a family member, can play a significant role in helping to identify early signs of psychosis, seeking prompt and appropriate treatment for your relative and promoting the recovery process. In this module, we explore terminology related to psychosis, risk factors and causes of psychosis and different conditions in which psychosis is a symptom. It is important that the person experiencing psychosis receives treatment and support; however, family members may also need help with their own well-being. The more informed and supported you are, the better the outcome is for you, your relative and your family.

Empowering Families Affected by Psychosis © , CAMH.