This program uses a coordinated specialty care model to provide treatment for adolescents and young adults who have been experiencing psychotic symptoms for five years or less. Psychotic symptoms may include hearing voices and/or seeing things that others do not, feeling of being watched or followed, confusing thoughts, disorganized thinking, strange or unusual beliefs. We offer team-based care to help individuals lead to meaningful, productive lives. Our team consists of specialists who provide medication management, individual therapy, family education, and peer support. We also coordinate with individuals’ primary care physicians, places of employment or schools in order to provide optimal coordinated care.  This program is offered to individuals within the first five years of a psychotic illness. Our First Episode Program offers:

Medication management

Our team of psychiatrists and nurse practitioners (NPs) regularly evaluate symptoms and prescribe medications to treat symptoms of psychosis. In addition to medication, we provide regular health monitoring (blood glucose, cholesterol, weight), and medication side effect monitoring. Our goal is to treat with the lowest, most effective doses of medications. We also make sure there has been an appropriate medical work-up of symptoms.

  • Injection Clinic For individuals who prefer not to take medications by mouth or who struggle to take daily medications, we offer long-acting injections of medications. Many individuals find this medication option is more convenient and helps adherence.
  • Clozapine Clinic Clozapine is a medication that is often used to treat persistent psychotic symptoms despite multiple medication trials. Especially at the start of treatment, close side effect monitoring is required. We offer this specialized clinic for regular check-ins, lab-work, and appropriate medication titration all in one visit.

Psychotherapy

  • Individual therapy Our team of social workers and psychology interns use talk therapy to help treat symptoms of psychosis. There are different modalities of therapy used. Types of therapy include supportive, Individual Resiliency Training (IRT), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  During sessions, individuals will discuss ongoing symptoms and learn and practice strategies to help manage the symptoms.
  • Group Therapy We offer weekly group therapy for individuals with recent onset psychosis. This group allows individuals to talk to and connect with peers who are facing similar challenges or who have gone through a shared experience. Participants develop new skills that help them achieve their goals. Group is led by two clinicians experienced in group therapy.

Additionally, First Episode Care includes:

  • Peer Support Specialist:  Peer specialists provide support to individuals by using their own lived experience with psychosis to help others. Each specialist and patient relationship is unique and allows the chance to connect with someone outside of the doctor, NP, or therapist. Peer specialists and individuals can meet at the hospital, or somewhere in the community.
  • Family Pychoeducation: We work with individuals and their families to provide education about illness, teach strategies to decrease stress, improve communication, and problem solve. We collaborate with families and individuals to help with recovery.