Psychoeducation rose to prominence in the mid-1980s in Germany, where the psychoeducational model evolved into a program of communication for people with mental health conditions. By focusing on skillful sharing of information with patients and their families, psychoeducation leads to a significant reduction in relapse rates, according to recent studies. Moreover, psychoeducational groups have been shown to reduce the time patients spend in a hospital or residential setting by nearly 50 percent.
Psychoeducation refers to the process of providing education and information to people seeking or receiving mental health services, and their family members. Thus, the goal of psychoeducational intervention is to help people better understand and become accustomed to living with mental health conditions. Since the psychoeducational model has been championed, psychoeducational groups have come to be seen as an essential aspect of most therapeutic programs. Furthermore, studies showing that informed patients have better outcomes led directly to the rise of the psychoeducational model.
Psychoeducational groups work to raise awareness of mental health issues while providing best practices for professionals. Additionally, as part of the psychoeducation model, mental health and recovery professionals address stigmatization of mental health conditions.
Although psychoeducational groups are organized in a variety of ways, they are connected by four main goals: transfer of information, medication and treatment support, training and support in self-help and self-care, and giving patients and their families a safe place to express fear and frustrations. The National Alliance on Mental Illness advocates for increased psychoeducation for consumers of mental health services and their families. Through understanding, healing can begin.
Sources: US National Library of Medicine (NIH), British Journal of Psychiatry, World Health Organization