Early Psychosis

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Addressing Psychosis Early to Improve Long and Short-term Outcomes

Approximately 114,000 adolescents and young adults in the United States experience early psychosis each year (Simon et al., 2017). With peak onset for most individuals occurring between 15-25 years of age, psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia can derail a young person’s social, academic, and vocational development and initiate a trajectory of accumulating disability. Despite these challenges, early intervention offers real hope for improving outcomes for schizophrenia spectrum disorders (Santesteban-Echarri et al., 2017).

Early intervention models, now called Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) typically include common elements such as low doses of atypical antipsychotic medications, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, family education and support, peer support, and case management.

In Federal Fiscal Year 2014, the U.S. Congress allocated additional funds to the Substance and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support models like CSC to address first episode psychosis across the U.S. States were instructed by SAMHSA to utilize 5% (now 10%) of their Mental Health Block Grant (MHBG) allocation for services for individuals experiencing first episode psychosis. Committed to serving state residents with first episode psychosis with CSC services, the Washington State Health Care Authority has funded the implementation of nine CSC programs, called New Journeys, which are based on the NAVIGATE model of CSC. Led by Principal Investigator, Maria Monroe-DeVita, the project implementation team is listed here.

The group works collaboratively with faculty from Washington State University, including Drs. Oladunni Oluwoye and Michael McDonnell who lead the evaluation of the New Journeys program, and other external collaborators as part of the Center of Excellence in Early Psychosis to advance research, implementation, and training on early psychosis.


Simon, GE, Coleman KJ, Yarborough BJH, et al: First presentation with psychotic symptoms in a population-based sample. Psychiatr Serv 2017; 68:456–461.

Santesteban-Echarri, O, Paino M, Rice S, et al: Predictors of functional recovery in first-episode psychosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Clin Psychol Rev 2017; 58:59–75.

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