This presentation occurred during the 2022 South Southwest MHTTC First Episode Psychosis conference on June 2nd. Dr. Oladunni Oluwoye was the keynote speaker for this session.
Presentation Summary: Family member or support person engagement is invaluable throughout care for their loved one experiencing the early stages of psychosis. From navigating pathways to services to receiving services from coordinated specialty care, engagement can be defined in various ways. In this presentation, Dr. Oladunni Oluwoye provided an overview on the importance and impact of family members or support persons on the pathway to mental health services and while receiving care for loved ones in the early stages of psychosis. She presented recent work and several strategies used to improve family engagement in early intervention services as well as culturally-informed approaches used to address racial inequities.
About the Speaker
Dr. Oladunni Oluwoye (she/her/hers)
Washington Center of Excellence in Early Psychosis
Dr. Oluwoye is an assistant professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University, Spokane, and the Co-Director of the Washington Center of Excellence in Early Psychosis. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Alabama A&M University, and her Ph.D. in Health Promotion and Education for the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Oluwoye is the lead evaluator for New Journeys a network of coordinated specialty care programs in Washington State and is supported by multiple grants from NIMH, including a Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award(K01). Dr. Oluwoye’s overarching research focuses on the early onset of serious mental illness, specifically psychosis among racially and ethnically diverse families, and the development of strategies to increase engagement and service utilization. Through this work, her hope is to improve pathways to care and advance the availability, acceptability, and effectiveness of mental health care among racially and ethnically diverse populations.
Positionality Statement: We should all strive to assess how our own positions in society and experiences might contribute to the research questions we ask, how we engage with those who participate in studies, and our interpretation of findings based on peoples’ lived experiences. Because of this I acknowledge my standpoint and the privilege I have as a Black woman/scholar. While I identify as Black and technically African American by naturalization, I am slightly removed from the experiences of the African American community, although I consider myself as an outside/insider. To an extent, it is through my own family’s experiences with a loved one with a serious mental illness and that of a Black individual in the US, that initiated my research focus on family engagement in early psychosis with an emphasis on improving the experiences of Black families. While, I do not have direct experience of navigating mental health services, I am fortunate enough to to have families willingly share with me their stories/experiences that paints part of the picture for me to have better understanding.