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Mental health services, Mental illness -- Treatment, Social integration, Mental health -- Social aspects, Distress (Psychology) Community mental health services


In the early stages of treatment for psychosis, community engagement and social networks are threatened through a combination of symptomology and negative messages and reactions from the environment which may result in internalized stigma, disempowerment, and prolonged isolation. While treatment programs attempt to mitigate these factors, ambivalence toward treatment and the basic concept of psychosis, along with difficulty engaging in conversation, make initial engagement more difficult. Self-determination theory and growing recovery literature point to the importance of maintaining a sense of community relatedness and connection, and developing a sense of agency and competence as important to active recovery and retention of community participation. Emerging relevant interventions which may help foster these important underpinnings of forward movement include psychoeducation, peer-developed and delivered messaging, and easily accessible internet-based content. Interventions like EASA Connections that are designed based on this emerging research, and further include intervention recipients as co-creators in intervention development, may help increase participation in early psychosis treatment and retention of community participation over time, leading to better overall life outcomes.


This paper is part of the 2018 State-of-the-Science Series from the Research & Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures and is produced by the Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University.

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