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Talking about Psychosis: Breaking Down Barriers to Early Intervention in Major Mental Illness

  • This is an online event. (map)

In contrast to popular belief, psychosis and serious mental illness rarely emerge “out of the blue.” Most often they begin with subtle changes in thinking, mood, and behavior, or “prodromal” symptoms, which emerge over the course of months or years. With half of adult mental illnesses beginning before age 14, clinicians working with children, adolescents, and young adults may be in the best position to recognize and help young people developing serious mental illnesses. Yet many have little experience or training in recognizing or talking about psychosis and psychosis risk. This webinar by staff from the Center for Early Detection Assessment and Response to Risk (CEDAR) is designed to address this gap. It will include a first-hand account of the experience of psychosis, a brief overview of what psychosis is and is not, common early warning signs, questions to help young people safely talk about their early symptoms, and strategies to guide them to appropriate help. Tips for talking with families and a quick review of available resources will be included, along with time to address audience questions.

Webinar materials

Presenters: Ben Boone, B.A., is an author, public speaker, workshop presenter, and life coach. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia the day after graduating with a degree in writing and publishing from Emerson College and will share his experience with psychosis.

Michelle Friedman-Yakoobian, PhD, is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Director of the CEDAR Clinic at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, and Harvard Medical School (HMS) Instructor in Psychology, in the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Department of Psychiatry. Her career has focused on the development and implementation of psychosocial interventions for individuals experiencing psychosis (or signs of risk) and their families. She also enjoys supervising graduate and undergraduate trainees as they discover the rewards of working with young people and families affected by psychosis.

Janine Rodenhiser-Hill, PhD, is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, Head of Community Outreach and Early Intervention Education at CEDAR, and HMS Instructor in the BIDMC Department of Psychiatry. She is a passionate researcher-practitioner with over 20 years experience providing training, consultation, and evidence-based treatments to adults and adolescents with a wide range of emotional difficulties, including anxiety, depression and psychotic spectrum illnesses.

Kristen Woodberry, MSW, PhD, is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, Director of the Program for Psychosocial Protective Mechanisms, and HMS Instructor in Psychology at BIDMC. She has over 20 years of experience treating, teaching, and publishing on the early warning signs of psychosis and major mental illness. Her current work is focused on developing and testing innovations for engaging psychosocial protective mechanisms for youth at risk for psychosis and their families.