May 12, 2020
By Philippe Conus, Amal Abdel-Baki, Amandine Cambon & Marie Odel-Krebs
In the context of innovation in mental health occurring around the world and considering the delay in implementation of early intervention strategies in French-speaking countries, the idea of the creation of an early intervention network attached to IEPA in these countries emerged in 2016. The main objective is to facilitate the implementation of specialized early intervention programs in these countries.
The French-speaking IEPA branch (IEPAf) creates a context facilitating exchange of knowledge and clinical tools between existing services, bringing together networks that exist already in these countries: (1) SWEPP in Switzerland (https://www.Swepp.ch/fr/); (2) the Association for first episode psychosis in Quebec/Canada (https://www.aqppep.ca/); (3) the Réseau Transition in France (https://www.reseautransition.care) which organizes a yearly conference on early intervention (JIPEJAAD: Journées Internationales des Pathologies Emergentes du Jeune Adulte et de l’Adolescent).
As such, the “IEPA Francophone” aims to facilitate access to site visits and training in well-established early intervention programs and also encourages the setting up of courses in French for practitioners and caregivers and to disseminate information about them. The ambition of the IEPAf is to federate forces and energies in order to promote the implementation, in French-speaking countries, of useful strategies that are applicable in daily practice.
In May 2019, the first international conference of the French-speaking branch of the IEPA was held in La Malbaie, Charlevoix in Quebec and was attended by 102 participants from Quebec, Switzerland and France. The objective of this first meeting of the IEPAf was to bring together French-speaking clinicians involved in the treatment of early psychoses so that they could have access to knowledge on advanced approaches, and share their daily practices and existing practical tools developed in French (smartphone applications, psychoeducation materials, information for parents and relatives, evaluation scales that have been already translated, adapted or developed, etc.).
There were some plenary lectures on the essential components of early detection and intervention, as well as the current situation and future challenges for the early intervention field in the French-speaking world. The plenary sessions were followed by several interactive workshops during which the challenges of implementing early intervention were discussed both in terms of clinical and organizational factors and in relation to mental health policy. The great success of this first meeting convinced the organizers to repeat the experience each year when there is no IEPA conference.
In order to support this new initiative, the IEPA has developed a new portal on the IEPA website where visitors can access all French language content produced by the IEPAf. The available French language resources include an IEPA membership brochure that informs about IEPA and explains the benefits of becoming a member. A new playlist dedicated to IEPA video content with French subtitles is also now available on the IEPA YouTube channel.
You can become a member of the IEPAf association for free by updating your IEPA membership details online and checking the “I would also like to join the IEPAf” box or for new members when you submit your online application for IEPA membership.