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Friday, June 19 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Mental Health - Gerald Jordan, Ulla Peters, Susan Sumskis

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Mental Health:

Abstract #198
Positive Change Following A First Episode Of Psychosis: Findings From A Mixed Studies Review Using A Qualitative Synthesis Design
Presenter: Gerald Jordan Co-presenters: Megan Pope, Angella Lambrou, Ashok Malla, Srividya Iyer
Positive outcomes following a first episode of psychosis (FEP) and predictors of FEP have received limited attention, and have never been the focus of any investigation. This knowledge gap is problematic because clinicians have described the paucity of a synthesis on this topic as one that must be addressed if they are to reliably foster positive change in clients. This presentation will discuss what pre-existing research suggests the positive outcomes following FEP are, and how resilience predicts such outcomes. A librarian assisted, mixed studies review was undertaken. Eligible articles included qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies published in English between 1990 and 2014 on FEP. Two reviewers screened three databases (Medline, PsychInfo, Embase) for keywords related to the topic. This search was supplemented by hand searches and article recommendations from experts. Eleven studies were retained from the original pool of 4612 studies. The synthesis revealed that following FEP, people felt closer to others, gained spirituality, made positive lifestyle changes, and felt greater appreciation for life; and that being recovered from FEP, and receiving social support, were key in fostering positive change. Results imply clinicians should foster recovery and resilience through social support in patients to inspire positive outcomes following FEP.

Abstract #236
Transitions into Resilience
Presenter: Ulla Peters
The Youth Psychiatry in the hospital Kirchberg (Luxemburg) proposes intensive individual pedagogical projects as a possible follow up treatment for adolescent patients. As these projects offer a highly individualized experience, they are assumed to be more helpful than a transfer to other settings (like group treatments). The research project “Time in – Time out” is designed to better understand in which ways these projects might promote individual resilience. The study will follow up boys and girls who, after their psychiatric treatment, were sent either to an individual project outside the country or to a group setting in and outside of Luxemburg. Quantitative data will be collected using the “Child and Youth Resilience Measure“ (CYRM, Liebenberg & Ungar 2013) and be compared with resilience scores of a group of Luxemburgish youth outside the care system. Qualitative interviews with a smaller sample of youth in individual care will provide additional data. The general project aim is to scientifically ground decisions about how to improve care for young ex-psychiatric patients with complex needs.

Abstract #253
The Meaning Of Resilience As Described By People Who Experience Schizophrenia
Presenter: Susan Sumskis Co-presenter: Lorna Moxham
Within a PhD level investigation, fourteen people living in regional and rural Australia described what resilience means to them in their journey with schizophrenia. Phenomenological interpretation of their stories revealed that living with schizophrenia is a journey that encompasses states of feeling lost, striving and then growing.  Within this journey, individuals described striving to overcome challenges and barriers in order to be able to use support or achieve desired goals.  While striving, the person grasped who they are, started to take control, took action and then strove to overcome the challenges of living with schizophrenia in everyday life. Medication, as an example, was viewed as a challenging aspect with many barriers however it was also viewed as necessary and supportive and therefore a decision was made to take control and to “use” rather than “take” medication.  The meaning of resilience is embedded within this, and many other challenging areas of struggle, such as the use of health professionals and health services, maintaining mental and physical stimulation, social ties and managing difficult family relationships.
Within this presentation, the elements of the meaning of resilience and the way in which they are embedded within the experience of schizophrenia will be fully discussed.

avatar for Gerald Jordan

Gerald Jordan

Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychoses
Gerald is a PhD student in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. He is interested in positive changes experienced by people following a first psychotic episode.

Susan Sumskis

Lecturer, University of Wollongong
Dr Susan Sumskis is a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse and Academic with a passionate interest in finding the positive factors and valuable experiences within mental illness and then communicating these to people who live with mental illness, students studying mental health, both... Read More →

Ulla Peters

I work since 2004 as a sociologist at the University of Luxemburg,tTeaching Bachelor- and Masterstudents in Educational and Social Sciences. Main topics are sociology, care and violence. I am a funding member of a research institut on social welfare and social politics (IRISS) and... Read More →


Srividya Iyer

Srividya Iyer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. She is the Coordinator of the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychosis at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and plays a leadership role in ACCESS-Canada, a newly... Read More →

Angella Lambrou

Angella is a Nursing librarian at McGill University

Ashok Malla

Dr. at Douglas Mental Health University Institute Ashok is the nominated leader of ACCESS Canada, a pan-Canadian network working towards improving mental health outcomes of young people.

Lorna Moxham

Professor of Mental Health Nursing at University of Wollongong Professor Lorna Moxham is the lead of ‘Living Well Longer’ within the UOW Global Challenges Program, which is a major research initiative designed to harness the expertise of world-class researchers to solve real-world... Read More →

Megan Pope

Student at Douglas Mental Health University Institute Megan is a Masters student in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. She is interested in perceptions of responsibility for care for people with mental health challenges.

Friday June 19, 2015 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
Boardroom A&A 2nd Floor, King's College

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