The first step for access to most mental health services is the intake decision. It is important that the intake worker be familiar with the symptoms associated with the illnesses presented to mental health services by young people, their families and community representatives.
It is critical that the mental health clinician use a line of questioning that will help to determine whether the referral is appropriate or should be directed to another service or agency. Questions regarding the current behavioural, social, emotional and cognitive functioning of the young person should provide the information needed to reach a conclusion about whether psychosis is present. When telephone referral information is inadequate or ambiguous then an in-person interview is recommended. Clinical guidelines recommend that this interview be conducted as soon as practical and if possible, in the home of the young person. As when doing any visit at the home of a person who is unknown to you, take the appropriate steps to ensure your safety (for example, informing others as to where you are going, ensuring another person will be at the house such as a parent, or going with a colleague if possible).
Throughout many of the modules in this course, we will be following a fictious case of a young person named “David” with early psychosis. To read about the intake process for David, click here. You will likely find it useful to print this page (and any other pages describing this case). Some of the assignments in this course will ask you to base your work on either this “master” case or on a current client with early psychosis. If you do not currently have a client with early psychosis on which to base these assignment, then it will be particularly important that you follow this case study presented across the next several modules. The videos presented online are based on this master case as well.
Read over the one-page description of the intake process above as well as the attached screening guidelines and questions here.
Ask yourself the following questions: – What is the evidence that David may be experiencing psychosis? – What further information is needed to determine if psychosis is occurring? – What else might be going on for David?