EMPOWER stands for Early signs Monitoring to Prevent relapse in psychosis and prOmote Wellbeing, Engagement and Recovery. It is an innovative research project which aims to develop and evaluate an App for use with adults who experience psychosis. The App will enable routine self-monitoring for a variety of different experiences, including psychotic experiences (e.g. hearing voices, experiencing suspicious thoughts), anxiety, mood and self-esteem.
Each time people put information into the App they will receive ‘EMPOWER messages,’ which could provide, for example, links to further information, practical advice or helpful quotes related to each of the topics covered. These messages are intended to help people have a greater sense of control over their mental health and wellbeing and to support self-management.
Information entered into the App will also be monitored centrally and where it looks like someone may be starting to experience problems then further action can be taken to support that person. For example, they may be contacted by the research team to see whether there is any need for additional help.
EMPOWER is underpinned by evidence which demonstrates that the early identification of psychosis is possible but for a variety of reasons it can be hard to act upon. We believe that one of the things which can get in the way is fear. That may be fear on the part of the person experiencing problems, close family and carers or people providing services. Through making monitoring of experiences a routine we hope to diminish that fear and support more useful responses.