The University of Newcastle is seeking participants for a study aimed at uncovering the best ways to help people at increased risk of developing psychosis.
University of Newcastle Professor of Clinical Psychology, Dr Mike Startup, said psychosis was a significant health problem in the community.
"About 200,000 Australians will develop schizophrenia at some point in their life and about 44,000 will develop bipolar affective disorder, the other major form of psychosis," he said.
"The DEPTh project - Detection, Evaluation and Psychological Therapy project - involves comparing the outcomes of two different types of psychological therapy: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Person Centred Therapy."
The project is looking for people aged between 14 and 25 years who live in the Hunter Region and Greater Western areas of NSW, based around Orange, who are experiencing some of the signs of being at risk of developing psychosis, such as:
- Low mood or feeling stressed or on edge for an extended period of time
- Having unusual ideas or thoughts
- Becoming more and more socially withdrawn
- Feeling confused or having trouble concentrating and remembering things
- A fall in work or school performance
- Hearing or seeing things that no-one else can hear or see
- Having a close relative who has had psychosis
Participants must not have taken anti-psychotic medication for more than two weeks, but will not be excluded if they are currently using cannabis or other drugs.
The research is strictly confidential and is aimed at helping people understand their difficulties, cope better with stressful situations and to generally feel better.
Up to 26 treatment sessions are offered over six months. Monthly assessments take place during this time and then every two months for the next six months. Parental consent will be needed for participants under the age of 18 years. Participants will be reimbursed for travel expenses for each complete assessment.
People interested in participating in the study should contact Jodie Fleming.