Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / focalpoint

London-Based Mental Health Program Produces Positive Results

A recent study has shown that outpatient mental health program at a London hospital is yielding positive results for young adults between the ages of 16 to 25.

Researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University partnered with youth receiving care at the First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program (FEMAP) at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) in an effort to better understand the patients’ perspective on the outcome of their care and treatment.

“Patients may prefer FEMAP over other mental health services because the care is tailored to emerging adults,” said Justin Arcaro, first author on the study and a former MSc candidate at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and research associate at FEMAP. “There’s an important balance between recognizing emerging adults’ personal autonomy and their need for comprehensive support.”

The study included 22 patients from FEMAP, which treats young adults with mood concerns and anxiety symptoms.  The participants were interviewed by the research team and the answers were analyzed to determine common themes around treatment and outcomes.

The study ultimately found that patients experienced lasting improvements in managing their symptoms, as well as improvements in academics, work performance and relationships.  They also reported that these benefits involved being empowered by feelings of self-acceptance.

“The transition from adolescence to adulthood is challenging. FEMAP employs an innovative model of care tailored to the needs of this complex population,” said Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a clinician-scientist at Lawson, associate professor at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and medical director at FEMAP.

Many of the participants also told researchers that they initially struggled with the decision of whether or not treatment was needed.

“This shows a need for targeted campaigns to help emerging adults distinguish between normative feelings and those that indicate a need for help,” said Dr. Osuch.

The study was recently published in Emerging Adulthood.