, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 213-219

Updates and Five-year Evaluation of the S.A.F.E. Program: A Family Psychoeducational Program for Serious Mental Illness

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Abstract

This brief report reviews recent updates to the S.A.F.E. Program, a family psychoeducational intervention for serious mental illness created in the Veterans Affairs (VA) system. The improvements and significant content additions to the curriculum are outlined. Further, positive five-year program evaluation data are described, including high levels of participant retention and satisfaction. Program attendance is positively correlated with understanding of mental illness, awareness of VA resources, and ability to engage in self-care activities—and inversely correlated with caregiver distress. This data lays the groundwork for a randomized clinical trial and raises questions about the necessity of diagnostic-specific family programming.

Michelle D. Sherman is affiliated with the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center, South Central Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC). He is also affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.