Treatment Team Center

Making Mental Health Treatment Decisions

Having options for patients living with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder is great! But patients may feel a little overwhelmed about making such a big decision. You can support your patients by helping them weigh the pros and cons of their options. As you know, caregivers are also important and need your support too.



Tonya


Jake


Heather

To help you see how you can support your patients, meet patients Tonya and Jake, and a caregiver, Heather.* They each have unique treatment experiences to share. Learn what matters most to them and see what you can do to support them.

*Fictional patient depictions



*Fictional patient depictions

Tonya

Female, 25 years old

“Hello, I’m Tonya. I’ve been living with schizophrenia for 5 years now. My current goal is to feel more like myself and avoid hospitalization. I was first hospitalized when I was in college. After that, I ended up having to drop out of school and move back in with my parents. It was really hard, and it was frustrating. I felt so defeated. I really want to go back to college and live on my own. Plus, I really enjoyed my classes! But for now, I need to focus on becoming stable and staying out of the hospital.”

  • How Can You Support Tonya?
    • Congratulate Tonya on making stability a priority
    • Remind her that hospitalization is something many people living with schizophrenia go through
    • Help her come up with short-term and long-term goals
    • In the short term, she can find a supportive treatment that works for her
    • Then, in the long term, you can talk about the actions she can take toward her goal of going back to college


*Fictional patient depictions

Jake

Male, 28 years old

“Hi, I’m Jake. It’s been 7 years since I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. After I was diagnosed, I went through several trials, but eventually found a treatment team and medication plan that worked for me. Now I attend a local college and I’m taking a few classes. I really want to take a graphic design class. My goal is to graduate from college someday.”

  • How Can You Support Jake?
    • Remind Jake of his accomplishments!
    • Is there a support group he could join to learn about other people’s experiences?
    • Maybe you could offer to get him a book on graphic design, so he can read about it on his own?
    • Help him set up short-term and long-term goals


*Fictional patient depictions

Heather

Female, 40 years old

“Hi, my name is Heather. I’ve helped take care of my older brother, Andrew, since he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. We live together. I really love him, but it’s also a lot of work and takes a lot out of me. I need to be better about prioritizing my own needs while still caring for him. I want to be better at that. Also, he’s been on and off a lot of different medications. I want to help him find something that works for him. Sometimes, he tries something new without telling me, and it makes me so mad because I want him to let me help him!”

  • How Can You Support Heather?
    • Remind her that being a caregiver for someone living with a serious mental condition can be overwhelming and exhausting
    • Remind her that the better she takes care of herself, the better she can care for her older brother
    • It may also help to talk to her older brother and see if he would be open to signing a consent form so Heather could help him with his treatment plan and monitor his symptoms
    • Maybe she could come with him to his prescriber appointment and take notes
    • To keep up with her own health, is there a family member or friend who could help her once or twice a week?
    • Share caregiver stories and resources with her

Support Comes in Many Shapes, Colors, and Sizes

As you can see from learning about Tonya, Jake, and Heather, every patient’s situation and support needs are as unique as they are. By listening to each patient and caregiver, you’re helping them make the best decisions to meet their needs.

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