The field’s understanding of schizophrenia has progressed significantly in recent years, but there's still much we don’t know. The National Council took a potentially important step recently, launching a pilot for an evidence-based program called "Advancing Standards of Care for People with Schizophrenia" last October.
The preliminary results were released this week, and they appear to be fairly promising.
Ten organizations across the country implemented the program, which resulted in "significant improvements" in communication, social interaction, and coping skills for individuals recovering from schizophrenia, as well as their ability to function in daily activities.
"The program promotes practitioner and consumer partnerships. Together they measure progress and reinforce what works,” explains Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council. “It's a true step forward for people with schizophrenia and the organizations that serve them.”
The program revolves around two evidence-based tools. The first is a group curriculum to help adults better understand and self-manage their condition. The second is a functional assessment tool that tracks their ability to independently carry out everyday tasks.
The tools encourage participants to take control of their mental illness, discuss it with others, and monitor progress. Participants said they found this helpful in addressing the misconceptions others may have about them. Participating organizations said that the tool provided accurate and reliable data that supported increased transparency and accountability.
According to Rosenberg, several participants found the interventions to be “effective, easy to administer and results-oriented,” and plan to implement the program throughout their organizations.