A new website giving straightforward information, advice and support to relatives and friends of people with psychosis – including people who have schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – was launched on the 8th of February.
The Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Rethink, the mental health charity that runs support groups for carers, worked together to set up the site and the Wellcome Trust gave a grant to pay for its development.
People looking after friends or relatives with psychosis want accurate, reliable information which they can get easily and quickly. Although there are lots of websites about psychosis on the internet, there are not many British ones, and even less that are reliable. Many of the sites say completely different things so it is hard to know who to believe.
The new site aims to solve these problems by providing:
• short films of interviews with health professionals and researchers talking about different aspects of psychosis, treatment and care
• Ask the Pharmacist, Ask the Psychologist and Ask the Psychiatrist pages where visitors to the site can submit general questions
• summaries of IoP research about psychosis, written in plain English
• information on how to get involved with research
• links to other useful websites.
All the information on the website is based on research carried out to learn more about the causes of psychosis, develop new treatments or improve existing ones. Researchers from the IoP and mental health professionals from SLAM provide information for the site which is easy to find your way around, clearly laid out and written in plain English. It uses simple language and explains mental health terms; gives information about drugs and their side effects; describes other treatments, such as psychotherapy and explains how mental health services work.