New Resources for Early Intervention in Psychosis Released

NASMHPD has just released new SAMHSA technical assistance resources to support states in implementing the Mental Health Block Grant’s 10% Set-Aside for early serious mental illness, including programs to serve people experiencing a first episode of psychosis. These resources provide reliable information to promote access to evidence-based treatment and services with the long-term goals of reducing or eliminating disability and supporting individuals in pursuing their life goals.

The resources are posted on the Early Intervention in Psychosis Virtual Resource Center on the NASMHPD website, which also includes information from the national RWJF-funded demonstration to identify and prevent the onset of psychotic illness and other early intervention initiatives. The virtual resource center provides an array of information that is updated on a periodic basis. 


Snapshot of State Plans for Using the Community Mental Health Block Grant Ten Percent Set-Aside to Address First Episode Psychosis
As a condition of receiving a Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG), states are required to ensure that 10% of their MHBG funding is set aside to support programs for people with early serious mental illness, including first episodes of psychosis. The Snapshot of State Plans provides an overview of each state's funding, programs, implementation status, and relevant outcomes measures under the set-aside. 


Fact Sheet: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp)
by Kate Hardy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp) is a psychotherapy that has been shown to be effective in first episode programming.  This fact sheet provides a brief, clear overview of the principles and techniques that are used in CBTp.  Specific examples are included to aid in service delivery.


Brochure: Right from the Start: Keeping Your Body in Mind
Adapted from a brochure by the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation
People experiencing psychosis may be at higher risk for physical illnesses such as diabetes, so it’s important to promote physical and mental health together as part of a comprehensive wellness plan. This brochure provides simple tips and a checklist for people experiencing psychosis for the first time and those who care for them to support healthy, active lives.


Information Brief: First-Episode Psychosis: Considerations for the Criminal Justice System
by Leah G. Pope and Stephanie Pottinger (Vera Institute of Justice)
People experiencing psychosis are over-represented in the criminal justice system, and research indicates that many people have interactions with the justice system prior to receiving treatment for mental health issues. Using the Sequential Intercept Model as a framework, this information brief offers suggestions for the justice system to identify and divert people from jails and prisons and into effective Coordinated Specialty Care programs.


Information Brief: Outreach for First Episode Psychosis
Given the desire to identify and provide services to individuals experiencing a first episode of psychosis as soon as possible, it is important to systematically reach out to organizations and people who are likely to be in contact with them. In this information brief we summarize insights from interviews that were conducted with several programs and state mental health authorities throughout the country regarding their outreach strategies.  

Issue Brief: Measuring the Duration of Untreated Psychosis within First Episode Psychosis Coordinated Specialty Care
by Kate Hardy, Tara Niendam, and Rachel Loewy
One of the strongest predictors of positive outcomes in first episode psychosis is the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP).  It is therefore important that programs attempt to monitor progress in reducing DUP.  In this issue brief, we discuss the complex set of issues involved in reliably measuring DUP and suggest strategies that programs may employ to address these challenges.

Issue Brief: Understanding and Addressing the Stigma Experienced by People with First Episode Psychosis
by Patrick Corrigan and Binoy Shah
Stigma – which includes stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination – can lead to diminished self-esteem and confidence.  It can deprive people who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses of important life opportunities. This issue brief examines the issue of stigma for people experiencing a first episode of psychosis through two key questions articulated by the National Academy of Sciences: What is the stigma? And How might this stigma be diminished?


Issue Brief: Substance-Induced Psychosis in First Episode Programming
by Delia Cimpean Hendrick and Robert Drake
People who use alcohol and other psychoactive drugs, especially heavy users, are prone to psychotic episodes that are not always recognized as being due to acute intoxication or withdrawal.  Recognizing and appropriately responding to substance-induced psychosis may improve long term outcomes. In this issue brief we discuss the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals whose psychosis is related to substance use. 


Issue Brief: Workforce Development in Coordinated Specialty Care Programs
by Jessica Pollard and Michael Hoge

As Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) has grown in the United States, there has been increased attention to the workforce challenges related to operating these programs. In this issue brief, we address a set of recurring questions related to workforce competencies, recruitment, retention, effective orientation, and training and supervision that are critical for the ongoing development of effective CSC programs.  We provide strategies for a comprehensive workforce development effort.

Issue Brief: Treating Affective Psychosis and Substance Use Disorders within Coordinated Specialty Care
by Iruma Bello and Lisa Dixon

While much of the literature supporting the use of Coordinated Specialty Care is based on research with individuals who have non-organic and non-affective psychosis, some programs may also treat individuals whose have affective psychoses or are substance involved.  In this brief we detail the special considerations and approaches that may be used with individuals in CSC programs with affective or substance-related conditions. 

Guidance Manual: Educating Communities to Identify and Engage Youth in the Early Phases of an Initial Psychosis: A Manual for Specialty Programs
by William McFarlane and Rebecca Jaynes
The PIER program has a nationally-recognized model for community outreach that seeks to include the full range of settings in which individuals with a first episode of psychosis may appear.  In this guidance manual, PIER leaders describe their conceptualization of this task, underscore its fundamental importance for affecting population outcomes, and provide detailed guidance regarding the elements of a comprehensive outreach and public education effort.


Online Tutorial: Facilitating Meaningful Engagement of Young People and Their Families in Early Intervention Programs
by Nev Jones and Dina Tyler
This web-based course is designed to increase the ability of providers to respond to diverse stakeholder perspectives on early psychosis, including the perspectives of members of underrepresented socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and cultural minority groups.


An Inventory & Environmental Scan of Evidence-Based Practices for Treating Persons in Early Stages of Serious Mental Disorders
This environmental scan provides an inventory of U.S. and international early intervention programs for serious mental illnesses, including specific Evidence Based Practices that are 1) effective for people in early stages of mental illness and/or 2) have been identified as important components of coordinated care early intervention models. Selected Additional Resources offer information on various organizations, publications, webinars, and research relevant to addressing early stages of serious mental disorders.