Kim Dixon, BA, MSc, CPS (F) FAMILIES Peer Specialist (&Co.) Area Manager
The Butterfly Effect & the Family Recovery Journey
What is the Butterfly Effect?
The Butterfly Effect is found in Chaos Theory and suggests that even a small event can bring about a significant change. Yet, the not so small worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has caught many of us by surprise with the extent and enormity of effect and change – sometimes leaving us struggling to adapt.
One needs only look at history to see the effects pandemics and the associated circumstances have on the mental health of populations across the world. In a pandemic, people living with mental illness and their family caregivers can be faced with additional issues and problems. Families affected by mental illness need additional support and specialized strategies.
Family Recovery Journey Course
The Family Recovery Journey virtual course includes information on mental illness PLUS information within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to equip families affected by mental illness to manage challenges that we may be faced with during this unprecedented time.
Session 1: Background
Session 1 explores how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts people living with psychosis, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, and provides general information on treatment approaches during COVID-19. People with psychosis or at risk of psychotic disorder may be disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Families are encouraged to build on both their internal and external strengths. And they are inspired to advocate for the mental health services and supports they need during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Session 2: Strategies
Session 2 recognizes the additional challenges, demands and stressors placed on family caregivers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Families need to adapt strategies for providing support to their loved one during the pandemic while managing additional stressors. Families also need to be aware of their own needs and reimagine their plan for self-care during COVID-19.
Session 3: Managing Crisis
Session 3 reminds families of the skills, strategies and resources needed to manage a mental health crisis like suicide or aggressive behaviour. In addition, family caregivers are given information about substance use and guidance around making a crisis plan if you or your loved one contracts COVID-19.
Session 4: Recovery
Session 4 talks about strategies for promoting recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic, including how to recognize the warning signs of a relapse and how to cope with relapses if they occur. This session also explores how to instill hope in our loved one and ourselves during this challenging time.
Session 5: Building Resilience
Session 5 reminds families that even in times of significant stress, we can look to our strengths to build our resilience and to inspire us with hope. Families are encouraged to build on both their internal and external strengths. And they are inspired to advocate for the mental health services and supports they need during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.