The session is suitable for all levels of staff, from all departments.

This session can be credited to the 5-Day Mental Health Recovery Care Certificate Program.

Presented by Steve Mathew (Behaviour Therapist, Mental Health Clinical Manager)

My distorted reality and self-medicating my suffering.

What happens to a resident who can no longer tell the difference between what is real and unreal? How do care staff respond to a residents distorted view of reality? Do they go along with the resident’s perception or should they attempt to correct it? Fixed false beliefs (delusions), false visual and auditory perceptions (hallucinations) are common hallmarks of psychosis.   LTC staff are challenged on how to accurately assess perceptual disturbances and respond appropriately when the resident experiences something that is not real to us but real to them. Often those with psychosis and other mental health conditions self-medicate through the use of substances to try and alleviate their symptoms. However, this often leads to addiction and serves to further exacerbate their condition. Traditional approaches such as abstinence can be helpful but harm reduction can be another effective option.

This interactive and insightful workshop explores psychosis and substance use disorders through the lens of the RecoveryCare Model and philosophy of Harm Reduction. Specific assessment tools will be presented as well as fundamental skills relative to assessing mental status, establishing therapeutic relationships, employing specific dialogue to engage, re-orient and refocus the distracted mind of the psychotic resident. Drug therapies such as antipsychotics will also be covered. Participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of the trans-theoretical model of change and it’s relation to the skill of motivational interviewing which has a strong empirical basis in the successful treatment of addictions.