Family members of those with schizophrenia, psychosis head to UW for help

SEATTLE -- Across the country there is a growing discourse about how America treats mental health.

On Tuesday, the University of Washington did something to help family members dealing with mental health issues.

Hundreds who have family members suffering from severe mental illnesses went to UW for a new mental health training program.

Organizers said the training program was meant to help caregivers better communicate with those suffering from psychosis - which is a break from reality, which is present in illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Communications is key when it comes to recovery, said Sarah Kopelovich, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Especially between family members.

"Our family members are really the front lines," said Kopelovich. "They are working and interacting with their loved ones every day and will have far more interactions with their loved ones than we do as a clinical team."

The program is based on others in the United Kingdom, organizers said. It may be the first of it's kind in America.

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