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Family Members’ Experiences of Seeking Help for a Young Person with Symptoms Associated with the Psychosis Spectrum: A Narrative Review and Synthesis

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/07/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)897-912
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date15/05/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Young people often rely on family carers to access support for their mental health. However, stigma can be a barrier to help seeking for young people and families. Little research has been undertaken with young people who experience highly stigmatised symptoms, such as psychosis spectrum symptoms, and even less research has been conducted with parents and carers, meaning barriers to help go unchallenged. Therefore, this narrative review aimed to explore stories of family experiences of seeking help for young people with symptoms associated with the psychosis spectrum. Sources searched were PsycINFO and PubMed. Reference lists of the selected papers were also cross-checked to ensure the search had not missed potential papers for inclusion. Searches returned 139 results, of which 12 were identified for inclusion. A narrative analytic approach was adopted to synthesise qualitative findings to provide a nuanced interpretation of help-seeking experiences. The narrative synthesis provided an opportunity to identify differences, similarities, and patterns across the studies to tell a cumulative emancipatory narrative of family experiences of seeking help for psychosis spectrum symptoms. Help-seeking experiences had a relational impact on families, with stress adding to conflict and anxieties inhibiting hopefulness, although families could emerge stronger and assertively with compassionate support.