ABOUT THIS RESOURCE
"Family Bridger Pilot Program: Preliminary Feasibility and Acceptability of a Peer Navigator Model of Support for Caregivers of Loved Ones Experiencing Early Psychosis," poster produced by Matthew Christiansen, Akansha Vaswani-Bye, and Maria Monroe-DeVita for the 2021 Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Annual Convention.
What is the Family Bridger Program?
The Family Bridger (FB) is a novel peer-to-peer model of support to address unmet needs of caregivers of loved ones experiencing early psychosis. While family and caregiver engagement is critical to improving long-term outcomes of individuals experiencing early psychosis, negative caregiver experiences can impede recovery. Peer navigator models have been demonstrated to be a successful method of addressing unmet caregiver needs, though such support for caregivers of loved ones experiencing psychosis is limited. The Family Bridger Program was developed to train caregivers with long-term lived experience caring for an individual experiencing psychosis (Family Bridgers) to serve as peer navigators to address these needs for newer caregivers via interpersonal support, education, advocacy, resource provision, and skill building. Family Bridgers work collaboratively with caregivers to identify needs, co-develop a plan of action, and work with families to meet identified needs.
This pilot program was hosted by the Northwest MHTTC in partnership with the SPIRIT Lab at the University of Washington, the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and the Washington State Center of Excellence in Early Psychosis.