Early Psychosis

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Mission:

First episode psychosis (FEP) refers to the early period (up to five years) after the onset of psychotic symptoms, which typically occurs between ages 16-30. Clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis refers to individuals who exhibit noticeable changes in perception, thinking, and functioning that precede FEP (SAMHSA, 2019).

The MHTTC Network develops resources and provides technical assistance on early psychosis, including FEP and CHR, across the US states and territories, as well as for American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino populations. The Network also convenes an Early Psychosis Working Group.

The mission of the Early Psychosis Working Group is to provide leadership, collaborate with other national groups, and develop training and educational resources to support the Network in assisting the implementation of evidence-based practices for people experiencing a First Episode Psychosis (FEP) or who are considered at Clinical High Risk (CHR).


Objectives:

  • Disseminate information via the MHTTC Regional and National Focus Area Centers across the US states and territories, including specific populations throughout the MHTTC Network and its audience.
  • Educate the Network on issues pertaining to treatment for FEP/CHR.
  • Promote already developed resources and/or develop new training and technical assistance resources for the Network to use.
  • Guide policy development related to FEP/CHR best practices.

By sharing ideas, better understanding perspectives, guiding and contributing to collective solutions, the Working Group expands the impact for each Center on the regions and communities served, as well as the whole MHTTC Network.


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Upcoming Events:

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Are you new to working with individuals with early psychosis? Are you interested in learning more about what early psychosis coordinated specialty care is all about? Join the Early Psychosis working group in collaboration with the New England MHTTC for a monthly webinar series taking place every first Thursday at 2pm ET.  

Coordinated specialty care for early psychosis is an evidence-based treatment model aimed at fostering resilience and recovery for individuals who have experience a first episode of psychosis or are at clinical high risk for developing psychosis.  Each webinar will be co-presented by a professional with expertise in that component of care, as well as an individual with lived experience who can speak to how this aspect of care was meaningful in their journey towards recovery. This series is geared towards any individuals that are new to working on an Early Psychosis Specialty Team – including students, clinicians, prescribers, supported employment specialists, family clinicians, and peer specialists. 

The content from these webinars will be recorded and used for the development of an online course aimed at helping to provide a basic orientation to new staff and trainees that are beginning to work in a coordinated specialty program for individuals experiencing early psychosis.

Access previously recorded sessions below! 

Individual Therapy 

What is Early Psychosis?

Family Psychoeducation and Support

 Medication Management

For more information, visit the MHTTC HealtheKnowledge Course: Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) webpage.


 

MHTTC Products and Resources:

Addressing First Episode Psychosis: A Three Part Series (Session 1, Session 2, Session 3) | Mountain Plains MHTTC

Dr. Andrew J. McLean, MD, MPH, discussed the concept of psychosis and symptom features, shared how to identify the phases of psychosis, and provided an overview of best practices of care for first episode psychosis.


Best and Promising Practices Fact Sheet: Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) for First Episode Psychosis | MHTTC Network

Behavioral health practitioners and organizations are often required to determine whether a particular intervention meets the needs of their clients, staff, and/or funders. The Best and Promising Practice (BPP) Fact Sheet Library, developed by the MHTTC Network, is designed to provide the mental health workforce with information about a wide array of evidence-based and promising approaches. In this sheet, we provide an overview of the principles and practice of Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) for First Episode Psychosis. 


Career Development is Everyone’s Business: Successfully Integrating Individual Placement & Support (IPS) Supported Employment & Education Best-Practices for Older Youth & Young Adults in your Community Mental Health Center | South Southwest MHTTC

This previously recorded webinar aims to provide a foundation for successful implementation of IPS practice principles in your community mental health center in order to better engage and support career development of older youth and young adults diagnosed with serious mental health conditions.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapies for Serious Mental Illness in High Security Settings | Northwest MHTTC

Individuals with a serious mental illness (SMI) are at least three times more likely to be treated in a forensic setting than in a mainstream mental health setting, effectively making high-security settings the primary frontier for SMI treatment. This presentation provides a brief overview of empirically-supported treatments for forensically-housed individuals with SMI, with a focus on cognitive behavioral therapies.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp) ePrimer | Northwest MHTTC

Learners for this 3-hour, self-paced course will start by testing their knowledge on a 30-item, adapted CBT quiz, and will then be guided to complete brief modules on the topics of: psychosis education, CBT fundamentals, and applying CBT to psychosis. Finally, learners will apply what they’ve learned to a practice and self-reflection exercise. Resources for further learning are provided. 


Early Psychosis Care | Southeast MHTTC

Serving as an accompaniment to Dr. Cotes' presentation on "Updates in First Episode Psychosis Care," this infographic summarizes psychosis and symptom progression, highlights the importance of early intervention, and reviews barriers to and tips for treatment engagement. 


EPLC | Discussing Diagnosis of Early Psychosis with Youth and Families | New England MHTTC

Providing diagnostic feedback and psychoeducation to Y-EP and families is important and can be beneficial to both young people and their families. When provided thoughtfully, with attention to the youth and family’s culture and experience, feedback can help youth and families to better understand their experiences, and to reduce misconceptions, worry, and shame about symptoms.


EPLC | Online Discussion Series 6: Health Plan Advocacy 101 | New England MHTTC

On August 5th, we held an online discussion session led by Dr. Ken Duckworth, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.


EPLC: Screening for Psychosis Spectrum Symptoms | New England MHTTC

A CEDAR Clinic clinical brief that support the screening of psychosis spectrum symptoms.


Family Psychoeducation for Caregiving Relatives of Individuals with First-Episode Psychosis: An Introduction (recording and slide deck) | Mid-America MHTTC

Family psychoeducation is an evidence-based treatment for individuals with psychotic disorders. In this introductory presentation, we will review the common elements of family psychoeducation and benefits of this intervention. We will also discuss specific considerations for clinicians providing family psychoeducation to relatives of individuals early in the course of a psychotic disorder.


First Episode Psychosis and Clinical High Risk National Stakeholders and Key Resources | MHTTC Network Coordinating Office

A number of national, regional, and state groups are all working toward system change and better financing mechanisms to provide better care.  The MHTTC Network compiled this list of some of the national stakeholders and key resources on first episode psychosis and clinical high risk found by downloading above. 


Involving Natural Supports in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis | Northwest MHTTC

Dr. Kate Hardy, an international expert in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for psychosis (CBTp), gives a didactic on incorporating natural supports into therapy for a group of CBTp trainees. She covers the utility of involving natural supports like family members or friends into a course of CBTp and illustrates through case examples how to do so skillfully and therapeutically.


Northwest News September 2019 | Northwest MHTTC

In the US, a person living with schizophrenia has a life expectancy that is, on average, 28 years shorter than that of the general US population. Our 2nd published newsletter acknowledges the completion of our inaugural year and focuses on Integrative Care.


Mental Health In Our Native American Communities for First Episode and High-Risk Psychosis | National American Indian and Alaska Native MHTTC

This newsletter from the National American Indian & Alaska Native MHTTC focuses on early onset psychosis.  In addition to providing a general overview of the diagnostic characteristics of psychosis, the progression of psychotic episodes, and assessment and treatment issues, the newsletter addresses how medical and psychosocial approaches to treatment of early psychosis need to include cultural adaptations and understanding of symptoms of psychosis in light of Indigenous considerations.


On-Demand: Updates in First Episode Psychosis Care | Southeast MHTTC

With the number of coordinated specialty care (CSC) teams expanding rapidly across the US, there are more services available for people with first episode psychosis than ever before. Dr. Robert Cotes provides an update on the phenomenology, services, and treatments available for people with first episode psychosis as well as lessons learned from the perspective of someone who has worked on a CSC team.   


Psychosis in Primary Care | Northwest MHTTC

These two sessions which focused on the diagnosis and medical management of psychosis in primary care settings. The goal of these sessions is to build understanding among primary care providers about the treatment and management of psychosis and how the medical management of psychosis can impact the physical health of those receiving treatment.


South Southwest First Episode Psychosis Conference | South Southwest MHTTC

Hosted by the South Southwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center, the materials from this conference provide invaluable professional development for mental health professionals serving individuals with early psychosis or clinical high risk for psychosis.

2020 Resources

2022 Resources

Panel Presentations:

Keynote Presentations


Using Evidence-Based Tools to Improve Clinical Care of Early Psychosis | MHTTC Network

This webinar introduced clinicians to the Core Assessment Battery (CAB), and WebCAB, and discussed how even a subset of these measures can help enhance clinical interactions with clients and foster shared decision making. Staff from early psychosis programs in Texas discussed their experience with collecting CAB measures, how to incorporate evidence-based measures into routine clinical practice, and use of these measures as a part of quality improvement initiatives among early psychosis teams.


National Stakeholders and Key Resources:

EPINET (Early Psychosis Intervention Network)

NAMI

NASMHPD (National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors)

NTTAC (National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth & Family Mental Health)

PEPPNET (Psychosis-Risk and Early Psychosis Program Network)

SAMHSA

SMI Adviser


Early Psychosis Models and Resources:

EASA (Early Assessment and Support Alliance) and EASA Center of Excellence

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