Housing for Recovery

Poster A81, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Elizabeth Guevara1, Mireille Valois1, Ina Winkelmann1, Ashok Malla1,2,3,4, Ridha Joober1,2, Karen Goldberg1, Sherezad Abadi1, Amine Saadi1, Srividya Iyer1,2,3; 1Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 2McGill University, 3ACCESS-Canada, 4Canada Research Chair in Early Psychosis

Young people with first-episode psychosis (FEP) have developmentally appropriate objectives pertaining to housing, education, and employment, similar to those of peers of the same age group and with no mental illness (1). FEP best practices recognize that long-term, stable housing, with clinical support, lead to improved functional outcomes (2). However, there is a lack of affordable, youth-appropriate apartments in Montreal for young people with mental health difficulties and low income. The Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychoses (PEPP-Montreal) created an innovative housing project to address this need. The proposed presentation will describe this project and its impacts, using a descriptive case series approach. A housing-first model was adopted (similar to the At Home Project (3)), to offer participants housing via a two-year subsidy in community apartments. Individual choice, autonomy and recovery are emphasized. Within a community outreach approach, participants are offered regular follow-up through case management, occupational therapy to develop independent living skills, and Individual Placement and Support for vocational and educational recovery. Our case series includes 15 participants (14 single; 12 male). Of these, 12 were homeless or on the verge of homelessness at entry. Systematic analysis of their narratives indicated that the housing project facilitated improved functional outcomes (including employment/school in 9), community reintegration, increased service engagement (5 re-engaged), decreased hospitalization, and decreased stigma. This project presents a model for effectively combining best practices of early intervention, housing, and IPS, filling a gap in integrated services and contributing to improved functional outcomes and recovery in FEP. References: 1. Ramsay, C. E., Broussard, B., Goulding, S. M., Cristofaro, S., Hall, D., Kaslow, N. J., … Compton, M. T. (2011). Life and treatment goals of individuals hospitalized for first-episode nonaffective psychosis. Psychiatry Research, 189(3), 344-348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2011.05.039 2. Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. (2011). Early Psychosis Intervention Program Standards. Retrieved from http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/pub/mental/epi_program_standards.pdf 3. Douglas Mental Health University Institute. (2015). The At Home/Chez Soi Project part one - 2009 to 2013. Retrieved from http://www.douglas.qc.ca/pages/view?section_id=340&locale=en

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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