Early Intervention in Psychosis: A Primer


Description: This course is designed for professionals in diverse settings who work with teens and young adults and who are interested in learning about: the early warning signs of psychosis; appropriate early intervention treatment and supports; and strategies for successfully engaging youth in effective, recovery-oriented care.

Content Developed by Kate Hardy, Clin.Psych.D.; Stanford University School of Medicine

Technical Assistance Material Developed for SAMHSA/CMHS under Contract Reference: HHSS283201200002I/Task Order No. HHSS28342002T

The curricula consists of three self-guided Modules that are intended to be viewed in order:

  • Provides information on psychosis and discusses: the typical duration of untreated psychosis; the critical window for intervention; relapse effects; and the importance of early intervention.
  • Illustrates potential obstacles that an individual with early psychosis may encounter that are barriers to accessing care.
  • Highlights the importance of maintaining a hopeful orientation when working with persons who are newly experiencing psychosis, and the key tenets of a recovery model. BEGIN »
  • Provides guidelines for identifying psychosis; reviews the distinctions between attenuated and fully psychotic symptoms; and highlights elements to consider when assessing for psychosis, including social and cultural considerations.
  • Offers tips for applying a recovery framework when talking to individuals and families about psychosis.
  • Discusses strategies for fostering education and outreach to the community to increase knowledge of early psychosis and promote earlier access to care. BEGIN »
  • Reviews Standards of Care and Key Recommendations put forth by the Early Psychosis Association and the World Health Organization for early psychosis programming.
  • Provides tips for creating welcoming spaces for youth and options for offering care in community settings.
  • Discusses the various treatment, service, and support components that are included in recommended interventions for individuals experiencing a first episode of psychosis. BEGIN »

Additional resources Individuals who have taken the course and are interested in learning more about early psychosis and strategies for promoting recovery are encouraged to explore some of the hyperlinked resources listed below:

To access the “Early Intervention and Recovery for Young People with Early Psychosis: Consensus Statement” issued by the World Health Organization in partnership with the International Early Psychosis Association that was referenced in the training course, please click here.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) supported the development of an Inventory and Environmental Scan of Evidence Based Practices for Treating Persons in Early Stages of Serious Mental Disorders. This comprehensive informational resource includes: examples of coordinated care models focused on meeting the needs of persons with recent-onset illness (with a particular emphasis on psychotic disorders); information on individual evidence based practices that are common components of such models; a compilation of additional resources for providers, policymakers, families, and consumers on this topic; and brief narrative profiles for 10 specific coordinated care programs.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has compiled a set of resources related to Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) for First Episode Psychosis that includes: an outline of the core components of CSC; guidelines for outreach, recruitment and implementation; and links to various program manuals and other resources developed from NIMH’s RA1SE Initiative (Recovery After a 1st Schizophrenia Episode).

The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) launched an Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) virtual resource center in 2015. The purpose of the EIP site is to provide reliable information for practitioners, policymakers, individuals, families, and communities in order to foster more widespread understanding, adoption and utilization of early intervention programming for psychosis. EIP is designed to provide an array of information through a consolidated, user-friendly site; and it will be updated on a periodic basis.