Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 51, Issue 8, pp 888–896 | Cite as

The Help-Seeking Experiences of Parents of Children with a First-Episode of Psychosis

  • David Skubby
  • Natalie Bonfine
  • Hattie Tracy
  • Kristen Knepp
  • Mark R. Munetz
Original Paper


The objective was to understand the experiences of parents as they sought psychological and specialized medical services for a loved one having a first episode of psychosis. The research method was qualitative and the data gathering was done through semi-structured interviews. Eleven parents of eight adolescent or young adult children consented to be interviewed. Data from these interviews were coded and sorted. Parents reported that many of their encounters resulted in delays in accessing treatment. These encounters were characterized by misattributions of the child’s behavior, poor advice, misdiagnosis, disbelief in the seriousness of the child’s condition, and an unwillingness to share information. But parents also reported that encounters with other individuals were characterized by helpful advice, emotional support, and suggestions as to how to access early intervention services. Encounters with many professionals were generally not helpful to parents. These encounters served as roadblocks to accessing proper treatment for their child. More publicity, outreach, and education are recommended in the professional community.


First episode psychosis Parents Adolescents and young adults Families Pathways to treatment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Skubby
    • 1
  • Natalie Bonfine
    • 2
  • Hattie Tracy
    • 3
  • Kristen Knepp
    • 2
  • Mark R. Munetz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyHendrix CollegeConwayUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryNortheast Ohio Medical UniversityRootstownUSA
  3. 3.Child Guidance and Family SolutionsAkronUSA

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