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).
- 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.
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!
For more information, visit the MHTTC HealtheKnowledge Course: Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) webpage.
MHTTC Products and Resources:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A CEDAR Clinic clinical brief that support the screening of psychosis spectrum symptoms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Psychosis in Primary Care: Assessment of Psychosis and Behavioral Interventions - UW (PACC–ECHO) Didactic Presentation
- Psychosis in Primary Care: Medication Management - UW (PACC–ECHO) Didactic Presentation
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.
- Early Psychosis Conference Youth and Family Panel
- Early Psychosis Intervention in Louisiana: Being Progressive to Make Progress
- FEP Conference Conclusion
- Recovery Oriented Cognitive Therapy for Distressing Hallucinations
- Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy: Motivation and Connection
- Centering Peer and Family Support: Multidisciplinary Collaboration
- College Life with Psychosis: The Student Lived Experience Perspective
- Sharing Successes: Celebrating First Episode Psychosis Transformation in the South Southwest Region
- At the Intersections of Psychosis and Marginalization
- Family Member/Support Person Engagement During Care for FEP: Challenges and Strategies to Move Forward
- Psychosis: Recovery and Discovery
- Suicide Assessment and Prevention in Early Psychosis
- The Future of Mental Healthcare is... Sitting in Your Pocket
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.