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Advice to loved ones from Early Treatment Program patients

Three women talking

It can be confusing, scary and unsettling when a family member is diagnosed with a psychotic illness. However, it can also be a positive time, as healing and recovery can begin as soon as a diagnosis is made. The Early Treatment Program (ETP) provides collaborative, individualized treatment strategies and care plans, but even with the best treatment, there are times when it can still be difficult. The following tips from recovering patients can help you be there for your loved one when they need you most and help you support their progress and recovery.

Advice for family and friends

Those who have been through the journey of psychosis recommend these tips to help your loved one and the rest of your family during this challenging time:

Do

  • Be supportive
  • Encourage your loved one to go to appointments and take their medication
  • Try to understand the struggle of having a mental illness
  • Encourage your loved one to get out and volunteer (plan outside activities)
  • Encourage your loved one in gentle ways

Don’t

  • Yell at your loved one
  • Say it’s all in their head

What ETP patients want you to know

Both former and current patients also have considerable insights that can help families better understand their loved one. Here are a few general things they suggest you keep in mind:

  • It’s much more difficult to be active and get things done with this illness.
  • They appreciate the help they are receiving but are sad to lose independence.
  • They wish their families would have brought them to the hospital sooner.

Help is available. Learn more about the Early Treatment Program at Northwell Health by calling (718) 470-8888.

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