Article2011

Psychosis Risk and Prevention of Persistent and Severe Mental Illness: Implications for Social Work Practice


ABSTRACT

The prognosis of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders may be improved through efforts to identify at-risk individuals and to provide early interventions prior to the first episode of psychosis. Psychosis-risk syndrome is gaining recognition as a distinct clinical condition, and may be included as a diagnosis in the upcoming version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). As direct mental health practitioners, social workers are in an ideal position to both address the diverse psychosocial needs and improve the accessibility of services for this difficult-to-define population. As macro-level practitioners, social workers can provide a valuable perspective on ethical issues while advocating to reduce the stigma surrounding the provision of intensive mental health services to individuals struggling with psychosis-risk syndrome.

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