Local mental health researchers seek participants for groundbreaking psychology therapy study

Researchers from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway are currently recruiting participants from ages 16-35 in the Galway area to participate in a new psychology therapy study being trialed for individuals who are in the first five years of a diagnosis of psychosis. Early psychosis, which refers to a range of mental health difficulties often associated with experiences of hallucinations or delusions, can result in significant difficulties with social and occupational functioning.

The CReST-R study (Cognitive Remediation and Social Recovery in Early Psychosis Study ) focuses on helping to improve everyday functioning in young people aged 16-35, living with psychosis. The study will involve weekly one-to-one therapy sessions over the course of 10 weeks, with an assessment before and after completion of therapy.

This trial is part of a Health Research Board funded programme entitled YOULEAD (Youth Mental Health Research Leadership ) as part of a collaboration between mental health researchers at NUI Galway, UCD and RCSI, and health service providers, including the HSE and JIGSAW.

Established in 2018, the vision for the YOULEAD programme is to build capacity for internationally excellent research in youth mental health by training future leaders in youth mental health research.

The YOULEAD Programme will address three main needs:

To identify preventable risk factors for youth mental health (such as drug use ).

To overcome the barriers to accessing treatment (such as living away from home without a GP ).

To evaluate existing treatments and build on these with novel programmes (such as the CReSt-R program ).

Professor Gary Donohoe, YOULEAD Programme Director and Professor of Psychology at NUI Galway, said they know that providing more multi-component treatments consisting of both medication and interventions targeting social and occupational functioning led to significantly better outcomes for patients.

“But these multi-component therapies are still lacking in Ireland. The CReSt-R study seeks to build an evidence base for how these multi-component therapies can be provided in the Irish health system,” he said.

Emma Frawley, YOULEAD Clinical Research Fellow, School of Psychology, NUI Galway, said that the CReSt-R study is targeted at supporting those in the early stage of psychosis, addressing strengths and challenges of the individual with the goal of helping people function in their everyday life.

“It is an opportunity to receive 10 weeks of therapy and contribute to our understanding of how psychosocial interventions contribute to recovery in this group. I am delighted to be part of building this evidence base in an Irish context,” she said.

To participate in the study and for more information contact Emma Frawley on email at [email protected] or phone 086 8527199.For more information about YOULEAD, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/youlead

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