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CaFI: Culturally-adapted Family Intervention

A new talking therapy for people from Sub-Saharan African and Caribbean backgrounds with experience of psychosis and those close to them


What is CaFI?

CaFI: People from African and Caribbean backgrounds in the UK, including those of Mixed heritage, are much more likely to experience psychosis than White British people. They are more likely to be ‘sectioned’ under the Mental Health Act and experience poorer care from mental health services. Black people tell us that they do not get the support they need to make the most of their lives. For example, they are rarely offered psychological therapies. When these ‘talking treatments’ are offered, they are often do not address people’s needs and experiences.


To improve things, we have worked with Black service users, their families, community members and therapists to create Culturally-adapted Family Intervention or ‘CaFI’. In the CaFI research trial, we will be testing if:

    • CaFI meets the needs of people from African and Caribbean backgrounds with experience of psychosis
    • It works at least as well as regular treatment
    • Provides value for money


We will also see what can be done to make sure that services can provide treatments like CaFI to everyone who would benefit.

Who made CaFI?

Professor Dawn Edge and a team of researchers and mental health professionals across England have created CaFI. We have spoken to hundreds of service users, carers and mental health professionals to shape CaFI to their needs. It has taken years to make this talking therapy suitable for people from African and Caribbean backgrounds.

In this video, some of the people involved in developing and pilot testing CaFI speak about their experiences of being involved in the research and why it is so important to them

What next?

We are nearly ready to test CaFI with people from Sub-Saharan African and Caribbean backgrounds and those closest to them. This can be their families, partners, friends, key workers, or other trusted individuals. If people want to take part but those close to them can’t commit to the study or have no family living nearby, the team will help them choose an individual specially trained for the study, called a ‘Family Support Member’, who will support them throughout the sessions. We are keen to hear from interested therapists and those interested in being trained as a Family Support Member.


The Culturally-adapted Family Intervention therapy will take place over ten sessions. Two therapists will work with service users and the people they choose to involve. Therapists will seek to learn about their mental health needs and experiences and their relationships with people close to them. They will use this information to help people build skills in communication, managing stress, coping, solving problems, and develop plans for how to maintain improvements when CaFI is over.


We are offering face-to-face in people’s homes or other suitable locations (such as where they normally access mental health care or in the community). People will also be able to receive CaFI therapy or online using video calls and our new digital website. This will be dependent on participant preference and local coronavirus restrictions.

We are inviting people from Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey, and London and Southampton to take part.

If you would like to find out more information about CaFI and other research around African and Caribbean mental health, please see the links below:

I’m interested in taking part or know someone I think might be suitable. Who do I contact?

Please contact the research team by emailing
Alternatively, you may contact Rebekah Pole, Project & Trial Manager, directly on:
Tel: 07500 027 497