How intensive outreach and intervention has helped homeless young adult Canadians experiencing first episode psychosis and substance use disorders.
Throughout Canada approximately 6,000 youth are experiencing homelessness, many of whom are struggling with addiction and psychotic disorders. There is a clear link between substance misuse and those diagnosed with mental health disorders. INTERVENTION The intervention aims to develop each individual within their own community, helping the clients with employment and studies, empowering a sense of autonomy, and establishing a pathway out of homelessness. The reasoning behind the early intervention is to not only ensure help is received quickly lowering the chances of self harm and harm to others but it is hypothesized that the there is a relationship between longer duration of untreated psychosis and poorer outcomes of treatment.
Understanding the need for services delivering long term treatment for psychiatric problems among vulnerable groups of socially excluded young people EQIIP SOL was created in Montreal in 2012. EQIIP SOL’s primary focus was to provide a new intensive intervention outreach team which offered outreach services dedicated to homeless youth experiencing first episode psychosis and struggling with addiction. Their project aims to bridge the gap between services offered in the community and the specific medical and psychological treatments for the targeted clientele. While the intervention aims to develop each individual within their own community helping the clients with employment and studies empowering a sense of autonomy and establishing a pathway out of homelessness.
Through these support networks it was documented that the majority of young people could reach housing stability within 6 months and their mental as well as physical health would also improve in time with ongoing care and the right access to appropriate service. Services similar to EQIIP SOL intensive intervention unit could be set up around Canada following the same structure the has already been laid out by EQIIP SOL to prevent on going mental health disorders accosted with substance misuse and homelessness. Helping prevent serious long term mental health disorders and substance misuse while helping build positive connections within the community and a path way out of homelessness for some of society's most vulnerable young adults.