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Panel Presentation Recording Panel Presentation Summary This panel presentation occurred during the 2022 South Southwest MHTTC First Episode Psychosis conference on June 1st. This panel was moderated by Cecilia McGough and the panelists were representatives from Students with Psychosis including Cecilia Joyce, Rei, Daniel Nepveux, Deanna, Katie Sanford, Maddie Jiles, and Vera Muñiz-Saurré Presentation Summary: There is no one-size-fits-all experience for a student living with psychosis. This session had a panel moderator and seven Students With Psychosis members from the student lived experience perspective. Students With Psychosis is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that empowers student leaders and advocates worldwide through community building and collaboration. The panel included a mix of storytelling and discussion followed by Q&A. The discussion and storytelling highlighted intersectionality, academic accommodations, and action points on how to transform community, workplace, and educational environments to support and empower students living with psychosis.   About the Panelists Moderator   Cecilia McGough (they/them/theirs/she/her/hers) Founder and Executive Director Students with Psychosis   Cecilia McGough is a New York City-based mental health activist, nonprofit executive director, consultant, and former radio astronomer. McGough is autistic who also happens to have schizophrenia but does not let her diagnoses define her. McGough is the founder and executive director of the global nonprofit Students With Psychosis. As a TEDx speaker, twice Special Books by Special Kids interviewee, Anthony Padilla interviewee, CBS This Morning national news feature, and PBS Documentary “Mysteries of Mental Illness” feature, McGough’s story has been viewed over 30 million times across multiple platforms. McGough has been featured in Glamour UK, The Boston Globe, Women’s Health Magazine, twice in Forbes, USA Today College, Healthline, Daily Mail, The Indian Express, MTV University, WGBH, Mental Health America, and more! McGough currently serves as a curator and social committee member for the Global Shapers Brooklyn Hub and a task force member through the World Economic Forum. McGough finds it important to connect with health advocates across a wide range of diagnoses and currently is a Lightbulb ambassador and severed as a 2020 conference advisor for Healthevoices. McGough collaborates with industry leads and mental health researchers and clinicians; for example, McGough was a 2020-2021 think tank participant organized by One Mind to focus on early screening for psychosis in youth. McGough is an UNLEASH talent who traveled to Denmark in August of 2017 to be an active voice to attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and make sure people with psychosis are represented. Also, McGough has been selected as the keynote speaker for the 2022 Congress of the Schizophrenia International Research Society to take place in Florence, Italy. At the age of 17, McGough co-discovered PSR J1930-1852 leading to opportunities such as helping represent the United States in the International Space Olympics in Russia and being a Virginia Aerospace Science And Technology Scholar through the NASA Langley Research Center. McGough’s story as a radio astronomer through the Pulsar Search Collaboratory can be seen in the documentary Little Green Men.   Panelists     Cecilia Joyce (she/her/hers) Executive Board Member Students with Psychosis   Cecilia Joyce joined @studentswithpsychosis because she was looking for a place where she could feel safe to express herself. Her search led me to @cecilia_mcgough’s TEDx Talk and this fantastic Students With Psychosis (SWP) community. Growing up, she felt lonely, isolated and embarrassed by her symptoms. She was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder as a teen and spent the majority of her high school career in a therapeutic treatment center. Even in that environment, surrounded by people with mental health diagnoses, she felt the stigma of being psychotic and having delusions. Becoming a part of SWP has cured the loneliness and isolation that she continued to experience. Before, she lacked a community, now she has built lasting friendships and has been a part of events that she will always cherish with pride. Since joining the organization she has become happier and has found herself more eager to stick to her treatment plan. She enjoys going to meetings and finds it easy to attend several a week, even as a busy college student, working on her bachelor’s degree. She feels truly blessed to have met and become a part of the SWP family. There are many ways to get involved with SWP. This is a welcoming space where you are able to participate or not, as much as you want. She encourages everyone to see what they have to offer because she believes SWP can change your life for the better. She hopes you can join her on this journey.     Daniel Nepveux (he/him/his) Advocate Students with Psychosis   Daniel Nepveux says that you may call him Daniel, Dan, Dano, Danny boy, or Judd. He currently reside in Texas, USA. Daniel was featured on the Special Books By Special Kids Youtube channel, and Instagram page, for an interview he did with its wonderful and kind creator, Mr. Chris. Daniel is diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder/Depressive Type, CPTSD, BPD, and Multiple Traumatic Brain Injuries. He am an AVID reader of almost every genre, but his favorite is horror; and his favorite author is (of course) the great and hilarious Stephen King. He owns fifty two of King's books and is always on the lookout for anything new by him. Daniel loves singer songwriter music with lyrics that contain emotional depth and moving melodies. But his heart truly lies with reading and writing.   Positionality Statement: Daniel Nepveux is a 36 year old combat veteran currently working on being an advocate in the mental health community. Recently he has begun work on his second published book of poetry and is happy to be doing something he loves. He is the first and only member of his immediate family to have joined the military and he did so at the age of 17. Daniel is diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder Depressive Type, CPTSD, anxiety, and deals with chronic lung health issues. Having not experienced the difficulties of dealing with mental health while in school, he wants to better understand the trials that the younger generation goes through when navigating the upper education system.     Deanna (she/her/hers) Live Chat Moderator & Outreach Coordinator Students With Psychosis   Deanna is a college student studying audio engineering and film production. Deanna is from the suburbs of Austin, Texas and still resides in the area. Deanna is living with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. She has a strong passion for art, film, and music, and is currently working on several projects. Deanna is a Live Chat Moderator and Outreach Coordinator at Students With Psychosis.   Positionality Statement: Deanna is from Austin, Texas. She makes it a point to help others when they are in need. Deanna is atheist, but doesn’t push her ideology on others and is respectful of others beliefs. Deanna has a libertarian political view; believing in full autonomy and limiting the states violation of one’s individual liberties.     Katie Sanford (she/her/hers) Advocate Students with Psychosis   When Katie was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder at 17, she thought her life was over. But when she went to college and began to prove all of my stereotype-based ideas wrong, she wanted to share that with everyone - that people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders are capable of so much more than people think. And when she spoke publicly about it for the first time, she realized that my story had a bigger impact than she had thought when it came to changing other people's minds. Katie is always looking for new ways to expand my advocacy and meet others who live with similar disorders. Everyone's story is so different, and she love that Student's With Psychosis amplifies all these different voices, showing not just others, but also each other, that our stories are powerful and important no matter what they are and she wants to use the skills she has gained in her advocacy experience to support the efforts of Students With Psychosis and expand her network and capabilities as an advocate as well.   Positionality Statement: Katie Sanford is a 31-year-old legal assistant and mental health advocate residing in a small town in Illinois an hour outside of Chicago. Katie grew up in “wine country” in northern California, living in both rural and suburban areas after her parents divorced when she was four years old. She attended small, often under-funded public schools that provided opportunities like small-group advanced classes and agricultural and viticultural exposure. She grew up in non-religious, middle class households and identifies as an agnostic heterosexual woman with a liberal-leaning bias. She recognizes the privilege that comes with these things as well as with being a white, college-educated female in the United States. She earned her degree in psychology at Northwestern University, which provided opportunities others may not have had, like working on psychiatric research. Her professional experience includes assisting with schizophrenia research, retail management, food service, finance, and estate planning law. She has lived with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder from a very young age that went undiagnosed until she began treatment at 17 when she was also diagnosed with depressive-type schizoaffective disorder. She also lives with an eating disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. Her experiences with schizoaffective disorder inspired her decision to pursue a degree in psychology.     Maddie Jiles (they/them/theirs) Executive Board Member Students with Psychosis   Maddie has had schizophrenia since early childhood, and until the middle of their undergrad career it went undiagnosed, unnoticed, and untreated. It taught them a special way of living with themself and dealing with all that entailed. Maddie's family’s motto always has been, “Once you lose your sense of humor you die.” Maddie took that and ran with it through every mental health huddle and struggle in life. No matter how hard things got, they found some kind of way to laugh and find joy in even the smallest thing. They believe that’s their purpose in life, to spread that same joy. Maddie is the voice of the MadHaus Podcast and the founder of Powered by the Haus, a tabletop group on Twitch. Outside of that, they are an elementary educator and a street performer. And wherever they go, doing whatever they're doing, they make sure that they keep their family’s motto in mind. It’s important to live loudly as yourself, in every aspect that you are yourself. And they find no place where they embody that more than in @studentswithpsychosis.     Rei (he/him/his/xe/xem/xir) Executive Board Member Students with Psychosis   Rei is a non-binary, autistic, Jewish social work student who is also living with psychosis among other disabilities. He is very active on campus as the President of Columbus State's Pride Club as well as an officer for several other groups, including his college's branch of Phi Theta Kappa. He has been nominated for quite a few awards and scholarships during his time at CSCC. Rei currently works 2 part-time jobs, including a work study job as a Student Resource Educator and another job as an artist at Transit Arts. His art will soon be featured in local community gardens. In his free time, he likes to cross-stitch, spend time with his cats, read, and play video games. He hopes that one day he can help better the lives of people living with disabilities, including but not limited to psychosis, on both a micro and macro level. He is extremely passionate about the ableism and abuse that exists within the medical system and strives to do all he can to fix this system.     Vera Muñiz-Saurré (they/them/theirs) Executive Board Member Students With Psychosis   Vera Muñiz-Saurré is a nonbinary, queer, Peruvian-American public health professional currently working as an HIV Prevention Specialist at a mental health agency in Boston and now also as part of the Executive Board of Students with Psychosis! They have Schizoaffective disorder and are a survivor of gay conversion therapy. Starting in 2017, Vera helped found and admin the Psychosis Spectrum Server on Discord and they're still a strong community! Vera is currently seeking their Master of Public Health from Boston University focusing on Community Assessment, Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation. They joined Students with Psychosis to find more community and to be more involved with psychosis advocacy! They want to use what they are learning and have learned through their time working in public health to serve our community and to help fight the systemic barriers that keep those of us most affected by health inequities from accessing quality care.   Positionality Statement: Vera Muñiz-Saurré is a 25-year old first generation Peruvian-American of mixed indigenous Andean and Spanish descent studying Community Assessment, Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation at Boston University’s School of Public Health living with Schizoaffective Disorder. Vera is a queer nonbinary person who uses they/them pronouns and who has done work in Boston’s community as an HIV Prevention Specialist with Casa Esperanza, a Latin American focused mental health agency, since 2019. Vera centers decolonization, liberation, and community-based participatory research in their approach to Public Health and is currently doing their practicum through Students with Psychosis in which they will conduct a Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan for the community of people in Boston who experience psychosis. Vera was raised in a conservative Catholic environment and is a survivor of conversion therapy. They plan on applying for a Clinical Psych PhD program in the fall and hope to help reduce the harms of colonization while working towards the goal of decolonizing the mental health system and broader recognition of indigenous sovereignty.
Published: June 27, 2022
Multimedia
Panel Presentation Recording Panel Presentation Summary This panel presentation occurred during the 2022 South Southwest MHTTC First Episode Psychosis conference on June 2nd. Dr. Molly Lopez was the panel moderator and the panel members were Angie Tyler, Clayton Carrier, and Hiram Cortes. Presentation Summary: Coordinated specialty care (CSC) for early psychosis offers a range of multidisciplinary services, including medication management, recovery coaching, family support, peer support, supported employment and education, and psychotherapy. Growing research and lived experience highlights the integral nature of peer and family support roles within these teams. However, peer support specialists have identified the importance of role clarity and teamwork to be effective in their roles. This panel explored strategies for effective multidisciplinary collaboration that centers peer and family support roles. Panelists discussed peer and family support roles, role clarity and collaboration, and overcoming barriers to effective centering of these roles. About the Panelists Moderator   Dr. Molly Lopez (she/her/hers) Director Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health   Molly Lopez is the Director of the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health, a licensed clinical psychologist, and a research associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Steve Hicks School of Social Work. Her research interests include child and adolescent service systems, implementation of evidence-based practices, and mental health systems development and policy. She has led a number of initiatives focused on enhancing the effectiveness of systems that interact with children, youth, and adults with significant mental health challenges and their families. Dr. Lopez currently serves as a director of the South Southwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) and principal investigator on the Early Psychosis Intervention Network in Texas (EPINET-TX). Panelists     Angie Tyler (she/her/hers) Certified Bilingual Family Partner Integral Care   Angie Tyler has been working with Integral Care RA1SE Team for 5 years and 7 months. She is part of a team in Austin, TX. As a Certified Bilingual Family Partner, she is able to share her lived experience with families and help them navigate through community resources. Her work background includes working with Travis County Juvenile Probation, Caseworker at Lifeworks for Homeless foster Youth, and Arc of the Capital Area working with IDD services as well as with the Juvenile Justice Program. The work she feels most proud of is with Integral Care RA1SE team because it has allowed her the honor to walk with so many families through their own journey and to give them hope and encouragement in their most challenging moments.     Clayton Carrier (he/him/his) Peer Support Specialist Integral Care   Clayton Carrier works with young people in a First Episode Psychosis program in Austin.             Hiram Cortes (he/him/his) Program Manager Integral Care   Hiram Cortes is currently working with Austin/Travis County integral Care with the RA1SE FEP program. He has training in CBT, CBTp, and CPT, trainings that help inform services for RA1SE clients. Part of his experience is collaborating with the multidisciplinary team including PEERS and Family Partner to deliver comprehensive and person-centered care to our population. He has previously worked at The Harris Center, in Houston, Tx where he first came to know about FEP programs via their Early Onset team.   Positionality Statement: The population served by RA1SE limits participants to range of 15-30, making it a very young population. The age of the population I serve is definitely something I keep in mind as I am very close to this age group myself. I am oh Hispanic culture (Mexican) and have interacted with some of those we serve as well as their families who have a similar cultural background. Being bi-lingual (Spanish) has also helped to facilitate rapport building and buy-in to the RA1SE program for some of these individuals. I am also aware that I am a first generation in my family to attend higher education and join the mental health field, giving me a unique perspective to families and individuals we serve as the majority come from low SES circumstances. My experience as a LPC and working specifically with trauma and CBT has allowed me to connect with a variety of populations, but working with the population served by RA1SE gives me an opportunity to work with individuals who have time to alter their lie course and increase their chances at “normalizing” their life trajectory. Alternatives to early intervention have been demonstrated to include homelessness, severe substance use, and/or being involved with the justice system. While there are many community relations and systems in place to help out the community at large, the programs currently available for the FEP population is minimal and not well known but for those in the mental health field. I see it as a great honor to also include in my work the duty of being an ambassador to our work and raise awareness of the services we provide and the results we have seen including individuals getting their GED’s/higher education, becoming employed, establishing careers, sobriety, and establishing a support system.
Published: June 27, 2022
Presentation Slides
Presentation Recording Presentation Materials Presentation Slides ASQ NIH Screening Tool C-SSRS Baseline Screening Tool C-SSRS Baseline Screening Tool - Spanish Version Patient Safety Plan Template SAFE-T Handout Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire - Revised (SBQ-R) Presentation Summary This presentation occurred during the 2022 South Southwest MHTTC First Episode Psychosis conference on June 2nd. Dr. Tara Niendam facilitated this keynote session. Presentation Summary: Risk for self-harm behaviors is high in early psychosis populations; therefore, all clinical programs need a protocol for risk assessment and management that begins at first client contact and is maintained over time. This presentation provided an overview of suicide rates in the US, an approach to assessing risk and protective factors, and an introduction to the CSSRS – the gold-standard tool for suicide ideation and behavior. The presentation will also briefly covered methods for addressing suicide, including the Safety Plan Protocol. About the Speaker Dr. Tara Niendam (she/her/hers) Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Research Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of California, Davis   Dr. Niendam is an Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Research in Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of California, Davis. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the Executive Director of the UC Davis Early Psychosis Programs (EDAPT and SacEDAPT Clinics) and has developed 4 early psychosis programs in Northern California based on the coordinated specialty care model of early psychosis. Her research focuses on improving clinical and functional outcomes for youth with serious mental illness, with a focus on mobile health technology. She is the Principal Investigator for the Early Psychosis Intervention Network of California, or EPI-CAL, which is part of the new NIMH-funding EPI-NET program. EPI-CAL links multiple county-and university-based EP programs to bring client-level data to the clinician’s fingertips, and enable large scale data-driven approaches to improve outcomes for EP care. She also directs the EPI-CAL affiliated Training and Technical Assistance Center, which seeks to bring evidence based early psychosis care to all Californians. Within both clinical and research contexts, Dr. Niendam has worked to amplify the need for high-quality suicide risk assessment and management protocols, as this is critical to reducing high suicide rates for individuals with serious mental illness.   Positionality Statement: I come to this work from both personal and family experiences. Within the psychosis space, my family supported loved ones who experienced psychotic symptoms as part of bipolar disorder. I was raised by a single mom in a small, rural town in Kentucky, where mental health services were nonexistent for lower-middle class families like mine, and the stigma against mental health prevented us from seeking help anyway. In the realm of suicide, I have lost friends and consumers in my clinics to suicide and experienced the unbearable pain and unrelenting “what-if” questions. I believe we can do better, hence my passion for speaking about suicide and pushing our field toward incorporating high-quality approaches. I identify as a white, cisgender, heterosexual woman, a mother, a wife and a clinician-scientist. I am a consumer of mental health services. I am strongly committed to DEIA and seek to amplify the voices of marginalized communities in all areas of my work. Consumer and support person voices are present in both my research and clinical work.
Published: June 27, 2022
Presentation Slides
Presentation Slides Presentation Recording Presentation Summary This presentation occurred during the 2022 South Southwest MHTTC First Episode Psychosis conference on June 2nd. Dr. Oladunni Oluwoye was the keynote speaker for this session. Presentation Summary: Family member or support person engagement is invaluable throughout care for their loved one experiencing the early stages of psychosis. From navigating pathways to services to receiving services from coordinated specialty care, engagement can be defined in various ways. In this presentation, Dr. Oladunni Oluwoye provided an overview on the importance and impact of family members or support persons on the pathway to mental health services and while receiving care for loved ones in the early stages of psychosis. She presented recent work and several strategies used to improve family engagement in early intervention services as well as culturally-informed approaches used to address racial inequities. About the Speaker Dr. Oladunni Oluwoye (she/her/hers) Co-Director Washington Center of Excellence in Early Psychosis   Dr. Oluwoye is an assistant professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University, Spokane, and the Co-Director of the Washington Center of Excellence in Early Psychosis. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Alabama A&M University, and her Ph.D. in Health Promotion and Education for the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Oluwoye is the lead evaluator for New Journeys a network of coordinated specialty care programs in Washington State and is supported by multiple grants from NIMH, including a Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award(K01). Dr. Oluwoye’s overarching research focuses on the early onset of serious mental illness, specifically psychosis among racially and ethnically diverse families, and the development of strategies to increase engagement and service utilization. Through this work, her hope is to improve pathways to care and advance the availability, acceptability, and effectiveness of mental health care among racially and ethnically diverse populations.   Positionality Statement: We should all strive to assess how our own positions in society and experiences might contribute to the research questions we ask, how we engage with those who participate in studies, and our interpretation of findings based on peoples’ lived experiences. Because of this I acknowledge my standpoint and the privilege I have as a Black woman/scholar. While I identify as Black and technically African American by naturalization, I am slightly removed from the experiences of the African American community, although I consider myself as an outside/insider. To an extent, it is through my own family’s experiences with a loved one with a serious mental illness and that of a Black individual in the US, that initiated my research focus on family engagement in early psychosis with an emphasis on improving the experiences of Black families. While, I do not have direct experience of navigating mental health services, I am fortunate enough to to have families willingly share with me their stories/experiences that paints part of the picture for me to have better understanding.
Published: June 27, 2022
Presentation Slides
Presentation Slides Presentation Recording Panel Summary This panel presentation occurred during the 2022 South Southwest MHTTC First Episode Psychosis conference on June 2nd. Dr. Vanessa Vorhies Klodnick was the moderator of this session and panelists consisted of leaders from South Southwest Region 6 FEP programs. Presentation Summary: There are few opportunities within traditional conference structures to celebrate individual and program level accomplishments that incrementally improve services. The “Sharing Successes Project” allowed multiple first episode psychosis (FEP) programs within the South Southwest region of the United States to share strengths at both an individual and systems level. Presenters share about program-level changes that sustain and transform recovery-oriented care in this region as well as transformation that they hope to see in FEP care in the future, inspiring further systems-level change.   About the Panelists Moderator   Dr. Vanessa Vorhies Klodnick (she/her/hers) Director of Research & Innovation for Youth & Young Adult Services Thresholds Vanessa Vorhies Klodnick, PhD, LCSW, is a nationally-recognized expert in adapting and blending evidence-based practices for older youth and young adults, including IPS Supported Employment. Vanessa is the Director of Research & Innovation for Youth & Young Adult Services at Thresholds, the largest community mental health provider in Illinois, and a faculty affiliate at the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin. Vanessa has been involved in multiple projects across the country that enhance IPS and/or draw from IPS to improve community mental health provider engagement of, partnership and impact with vulnerable and marginalized young people with serious mental health conditions. Vanessa is currently overseeing the continuous quality improvement of multiple multidisciplinary teams designed for youth and young adults, all which include Supported Employment and Education Specialists. Panelists Burke Center: Roger Riley, Program Lead Taylor Stevens Trisha Jolly, STEP MHC Recovery Coach COMPASS: Delinda Reese, Certified Family Partner Emily Sanchez, Case Manager Early First Episode Psychosis Program at UNM: Ashley Park, Program Therapist Emergence: Alejandra Cuellar, Administrative Support Supervisor and Outreach Coordinator Harris Center: Anna Marshall, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)/Licensed Practitioner of the Healing Arts (LPHA) Integral Care: Sanjhi Gandhi, Primary Clinician    Tropical Texas: Victoria Castaneda, Case Manager
Published: June 27, 2022
Presentation Slides
Presentation Slides Presentation Recording Presentation Summary This presentation occurred during the 2022 South Southwest MHTTC First Episode Psychosis conference on June 3rd. Mx. Yaffa was the keynote presenter for this session. Presentation Summary: Although the current Mental Health system is starting to integrate understandings of equity and justice into healing practices and treatment it is important to understand the oppressive history of our system and how this has led to harm within various communities. In this session, Mx. Yaffa discussed the social, historical, and cultural factors impacting care for individuals experiencing psychosis through an intersectional lens. They shared their experiences with living with various mental health challenges and seeing, hearing, and believing things that others do not. Mx. Yaffa shared their experiences with navigating mental health care in three countries, and the cultural Intersections that create various challenges for individuals experiencing first psychosis episodes. Mx. Yaffa shares how their other intersectional identities have both made navigating the mental health system more complex and has helped on their road for recovery. In particular, Mx. Yaffa highlighted trans, Muslim, and indigenous identities as inseparable constants in their care and wellbeing. About the Speaker   Mx. Yaffa (they/them/theirs) Equity and Transformation Consultant   Mx. Yaffa is an award-winning disabled, mad, trans, queer, Muslim, indigenous Palestinian. Mx. Yaffa conducts transformative work around displacement, decolonization, equity, and centering lived experiences of individuals most impacted by injustice. Mx. Yaffa is a storyteller and an equity and transformation consultant, having shared their story with over 100,000 audience members at speaking events globally. Mx. Yaffa has worked in over two dozen countries, and specializes in global and community vision building. Mx. Yaffa is an engineer, with a specialty in sustainability and social engineering, a peer support specialist, and an equity and transformation consultant. Mx. Yaffa utilizes peer support as a foundation for all their work, supporting peer-run spaces in organizational capacity building, equity, and sustainment. Mx. Yaffa brings together engineering, peer support, and trauma to support their vision of more equitable and accountable communities that lead to individuals' self-actualization. Mx. Yaffa is the Founder of several non-profits and community projects, such as CT Mutual Aid, and Life in My Days, an international non-profit that supports individuals and their communities on their journeys for self-actualization through mutual aid, transformative justice, and disability justice. For the last few years, Mx. Yaffa has also been a Master Recovery Educator, facilitating the RI Peer Support Certification training nationally to certify individuals as Peer Support Specialists. Additionally, Mx. Yaffa is an Equity Coach with Sustainable CT, supporting municipalities in the State in engraining equity practices into any sustainability work. Mx. Yaffa has a MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice from Queen's University Belfast, a Childhood Traumatic Stress graduate certificate from the Boston Trauma Center, and a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from WPI. Mx. Yaffa currently serves as a board member for TransLifeline and is the previous co-chair of the International Association of Peer Supporters board.
Published: June 27, 2022
Presentation Slides
Presentation Slides Presentation Recording Presentation Summary This presentation occurred during the 2022 South Southwest MHTTC First Episode Psychosis conference on June 3rd. Dr. Dror Ben-Zeev was the keynote speaker for this session. Presentation Summary: Technology is redefining how we study, assess, and treat mental illness. Mobile health (mHealth) now enables us to bring cutting-edge treatments out of the clinics and research centers and into the hands of the people who need them most. Professor Dror Ben-Zeev from the University of Washington provided an overview of recent advancements in the field of mHealth and examines how mobile devices and digital telecommunication infrastructure can be harnessed to support detection, prevention, and support for people with serious mental illness.  Professor Ben-Zeev described the lessons his team learned from conducting multiple mHealth initiatives with complex populations in real-world settings. He outlined his vision for effective, realistic, and sustainable mHealth for mental health in the years ahead. About the Speaker   Dr. Dror Ben-Zeev (he/him/his) Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science University of Washington   Dror Ben-Zeev, PhD, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. He is a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in the development and evaluation of technology-based approaches in the study, assessment, treatment, and prevention of mental illness. Dr. Ben-Zeev serves as the Director of UW's Behavioral Research in Technology and Engineering (BRiTE) Center (https://www.brite.uw.edu/) and the mHealth for Mental Health Program (www.mh4mh.org), a multidisciplinary effort to harness mobile technology to improve the outcomes of people with psychiatric conditions and their loved ones. His research includes development of several self-management apps for people with serious mental illness, leveraging mobile and context-aware technologies for assessment of violence and suicidality in psychiatric hospital settings, behavioral sensing and Natural Language Processing systems for detection of psychotic relapses, social media-based outreach and remote data collection involving people who experience hallucinations, community-based clinical texting interventions, and technology designed to reduce human rights violations perpetrated against people with mental illness in Low and Middle Income Countries. Dr. Ben-Zeev’ s work has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute, the Veterans Administration, and several foundations. His studies have been covered by NPR, The Washington Post, Nature, Wired Magazine, Slate, Vice News, The Economist, and the New York Times. He serves as the Editor of the "Technology in Mental Health" Column in Psychiatric Services (APA Journal) and is a regular speaker at national and international scientific meetings including invited presentations at the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Academies, and the White House.
Published: June 27, 2022
Presentation Slides
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.
Published: July 23, 2021
Multimedia
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.
Published: July 23, 2021
Multimedia
ABOUT THIS RESOURCE This is the third and final webinar in a three-part webinar series related to forensic mental health.  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. Recovery-oriented, trauma-informed, person-centered, and evidence-based practices can and should be delivered in a way that is responsive to both therapeutics and security. This presentation will provide a brief overview of empirically-supported treatments for forensically-housed individuals with SMI, with a focus on cognitive behavioral therapies. Learning Objectives Learners will become familiar with national and international guidelines on the provision of care to individuals with serious mental illness who are housed in high-security settings. Learners will be able to list the evidence-based psychosocial interventions indicated for this population. Learners will hear about empirically-supported benefits of recovery-oriented, trauma-informed, person-centered, and evidence-based care to both the individual and system. Learners will be able identify core considerations and strategies for delivering person-centered cognitive behavioral therapy to adults with a serious mental illness in high security settings. Find out more about our forensic mental health webinar series here. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Download webinar slides   FACILITATOR Sarah L. Kopelovich, JD Sarah L. Kopelovich, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialized training in serious mental illness and forensic psychology. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and serves as core faculty with the Center for Mental Health, Policy, and the Law (CMHPL), the SPIRIT Lab, the Northwest MHTTC, and the Washington State Center of Excellence in Early Psychosis. Dr. Kopelovich specializes in evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatments for schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders.
Published: April 22, 2021
Print Media
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. Each fact sheet in the library summarizes a specific behavioral health practice, its evidence base, and steps for successful implementation.  In this sheet, we provide an overview of the principles and practice of Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) for First Episode Psychosis. 
Published: April 12, 2021
Print Media
About this Resource:  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. 
Published: March 8, 2021
Multimedia
About this Resource:  The first episode of psychosis is a crucial time to intervene and potentially change the trajectory of a schizophrenia-spectrum illness. 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.      About the Presenter:  Robert O. Cotes, MD, is an Associate Professor at Emory University School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He attended West Virginia University School of Medicine then completed his psychiatry residency at Dartmouth. He serves as Co-Director of the PSTAR Clinic (Persistent Symptoms: Treatment, Assessment, and Recovery), Director of Project ARROW (Achieving Recovery through Resilience, Optimism, and Wellness), and Co-Director of Open Dialogue Atlanta at Grady's Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic. His research focuses on clozapine, cardiometabolic side effects of antipsychotic medications, digital biomarkers, and first episode psychosis. Dr. Cotes is the principal investigator for multiple clinical trials focused on treatment options for psychosis. Dr. Cotes serves as a Psychiatrist Expert for the American Psychiatric Association's SMI Adviser initiative.
Published: January 28, 2021
Print Media
A CEDAR Clinic clinical brief that support the screening of psychosis spectrum symptoms.
Published: January 21, 2021
Multimedia
The 2020 Southwest First Episode Psychosis Conference took place virtually on August 3rd through the 5th. In this session, Jennifer Baran-Prall summarizes key themes from the conference and Dr. Molly Lopez concludes the conference with an exciting Thought Exchange.
Published: August 21, 2020
Multimedia
The 2020 Southwest First Episode Psychosis Conference took place virtually on August 3rd through the 5th. In this session, Dr. Aaron Brinen, Assistant Professor Psychiatry at Drexel College of Medicine, discusses the obstacle that negative symptoms can pose to recovery for individuals with psychosis. Dr. Brinen shares innovative strategies to overcoming challenges of motivation and connection. Download the session slides.
Published: August 21, 2020
Multimedia
The 2020 Southwest First Episode Psychosis Conference took place virtually on August 3rd through the 5th. In this session, Dr. Nev Jones facilitates a discussion with panelists Edith Burns and Trinity Blue to discuss their experiences with early psychosis care. Participants hear from youth and families about how to improve services and supports for persons who have experienced psychosis. Participants were also given the opportunity to ask questions and discuss pathways for implementing the ideas that arise from the panel into their own communities.
Published: August 21, 2020
Multimedia
The 2020 Southwest First Episode Psychosis Conference took place virtually on August 3rd through the 5th. In this presentation, Dr. Aaron Brinen, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Drexel University College of Medicine, shares practical strategies for addressing distressing hallucinations using Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy. Download the session slides.
Published: August 21, 2020
Multimedia
The 2020 Southwest First Episode Psychosis Conference took place virtually on August 3rd through the 5th. In this presentation, Dr. Ashley Weiss, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director of EPIC-NOLA at Tulane University, describes the development of their early psychosis program and shares the techniques and creativity used to enhance community outreach regarding early psychosis treatment within her community. Download the session slides.
Published: August 21, 2020
Multimedia
The 2020 Southwest First Episode Psychosis Conference took place virtually on August 3rd through the 5th. In this presentation, Dr. Jason Schiffman, Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, describes strategies for early identification of chronic high risk for psychosis to help minimize delays in service and care. Special attention will be paid to cultural and contextual considerations to assessment. An introduction to psychosocial treatment for those at risk for psychosis is also be presented. Download the session slides. 
Published: August 21, 2020
Multimedia
The 2020 Southwest First Episode Psychosis Conference took place virtually on August 3rd through the 5th. In this presentation, Nybelle Caruso, Dr. Nikolas Buekea, and Tamara Sale, from the EASA Center, build on research about first episode psychosis to discuss how early intervention programs have been established nationally focusing on the needs of young people and their families. Participants learn about the evolution of these national initiatives and the support, assessment, and treatment they provide for teenagers and young adults. This presentation provides a current state of affairs for early psychosis programs throughout the nation. Download the session slides.
Published: August 21, 2020
Multimedia
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.  To access a copy of this presentation, click here. 
Published: August 5, 2020
Print Media
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.
Published: March 9, 2020
Interactive Resource
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp) ePrimer is a 3-hour, self-paced course open to all types of providers, hosted on the HealtheKnowledge platform. It is designed to serve as a primer in foundational concepts related to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and its application to psychotic symptoms and experiences. Learners 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.  Registration and Technical Support How to register for a course at HealtheKnowledge and how to get technical support   Trainer Sarah Kopelovich, PhD, is a forensically-trained, licensed clinical psychologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine, based at Harborview Medical Center. Dr. Kopelovich is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and holds a Professorship in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis. Her research aims to enhance implementation and dissemination strategies for psychosocial interventions indicated for individuals with Psychotic Spectrum Disorders. She leads the only CBT for psychosis Provider Network in the country, which has received continual state funding since 2015. She regularly conducts workshops, seminars, and professional consultation across the country for mental health practitioners in CBT for psychosis (CBTp) and CBTp-informed care; Coordinated Specialty Care for First Episode Psychosis and Assertive Community Treatment; and diagnostic, suicide, and violence risk assessment. Dr. Kopelovich is core faculty with the Northwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center and currently serves as the Director of Training.         This online course was created by the Northwest Region 10 Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Want more information? Visit the Northwest MHTTC's Resource Library and Websites by Topic  and sign up for our monthly newsletter for regular updates about events, trainings, and resources available to the Northwest region.
Published: February 3, 2020
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