Siblings are family: first group-based family intervention for brothers and sisters of young people with mental illness.

Poster B89, Friday, October 21, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Alessia Avila1, Luisa Amato3, Emiliano Monzani2, Marco Bresciani4, Davide Motto4, Roberto Massironi3; 1Institute of Psychiatry Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, 2Early Intervention Service- Programma 2000, ASST Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda, 3Early Intervention Service - Progetto GEP, UOP Sesto San Giovanni ASST Nord Milano, 4Cooperativa Lotta contro l’Emarginazione

Family interventions have a significant impact on the course of major mental disorders (Pharoah et al.2010). Recent studies have highlighted how siblings remain overseen in clinical practise and tend to be unreached by supportive interventions (Shrank, 2003; IRIS Guidelines 2010). The need for an effective psycho-educational intervention that provides an element of peer support for young siblings is well established in literature (Sin et. al 2013). Siblings present with unique needs that should be addressed by specific interventions (Sin et. al 2016), however across the world only few initiatives are available that distinctively target this population. A main hypothesis is that a targeted intervention could contribute in reducing distress and promoting wellbeing in siblings of young people with mental health issues and sustain their exclusive caregiving role. Our group-based intervention addresses a population of young siblings aged 16 to 25 and integrates characteristics of psychoeducation and peer support. In order to inform a preliminary evaluation of the project the following indicators were chosen basing on the existing evidences: knowledge on mental illness, mood and anxiety disturbances and impact of mental illness on familial relationships. Each variable is measured pre-post intervention with internationally validated scales. We have recruited our first group of 6 siblings and we would like to share our experience trough the testimony of some of our participants. To our knowledge the illustrated intervention represents the first initiative of its kind to be embedded in the treatment offer of a community mental health service.

Topic Area: Psychosocial Interventions

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