PEPPNET Quarterly Newsletter /
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SPRING 2017 | Issue:No. 05

Spotlight On

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By: Patti Fetzer, LISW-S

The Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeST) Center's mission is to promote recovery and improve the lives of as many people with schizophrenia as possible by accelerating the adoption of evidence-based and promising practices. We provide expert training, consultation and technical assistance to community mental health agencies in partnership with their state and local authorities in the following practice areas: 

The BeST Center is in the Department of Psychiatry at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). Established in 2009 through a generous gift from The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, the foundation remains a vital partner for our innovation and dissemination. The Department of Psychiatry is also home to the Ohio Program for Campus Safety & Mental Health, Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence and the Community Mental Health Research Focus Area, which enhance BeST Center outreach and collaborative strategies on college campuses and criminal justice systems.  

Since 2010, The Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeST) Center has a well-developed and refined implementation package for Coordinated Specialty Care for First Episode Psychosis (CSC for FEP). The BeST Center served as a pilot site for the National Institute of Mental Health’s Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) NAVIGATE initiative. The BeST Center has implemented coordinated specialty care for first episode psychosis programs, each of which is called FIRST, throughout Ohio and Illinois. 

To learn more about partnering with the BeST Center, please contact Patti Fetzer, LISW-S, Director, Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeST) Center at or 330.325.6397.  Check out (Follow the BeST Center at NEOMED on Twitter @bestneomed).  


In Their Own Words
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ASHA International is an international 501©3 organization based in Portland, Oregon with the mission to promote personal, organizational, and community wellness through mental health education, training and support. ASHA believes that mental health issues are part of the continuum of human experience and that, regardless of diagnosis, every individual has the potential to create a healthy, meaningful, and productive life. ASHA’s You Can Recover Project brings forth intimate testimonials from people with lived experience of mental illness, all with unique circumstances but the shared message that recovery is possible. 
View the dozens of recovery stories here:


From the Research Front

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By: Leah Lurye, B.A. (Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology)

Supported Employment and Education in Comprehensive, Integrated Care for First Episode Psychosis: Effects on Work, School, and Disability Income

Recent findings suggest that specialized treatment programs for first episode psychosis (FEP) can significantly improve clinical outcomes in early phases of schizophrenia. Participation in work and school are central objectives for FEP programs, yet there are no studies that look solely at the effectiveness of programs that incorporate supported employment and education (SEE) services. In this 2016 study by Rosenheck and colleagues, researchers investigated the effectiveness of programs offering (SEE) to all individuals enrolled versus only to those who expressed vocational or academic aspirations. Secondly, researchers sought to understand the extent to which FEP programs improve work-school outcomes by analyzing participants' employment earnings and receipt of public income. 

To answer these questions, researchers used data from a completed study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which included 404 patients between the ages of 15-40 who presented with FEP and had taken antipsychotic medication for 6 months or less. Thirty-four community mental health treatment centers were chosen and randomized equally to provide patients either the NAVIGATE model - a comprehensive team-based treatment program that includes five or more hours of SEE services per week, or usual Community Care (CC). 

The study found that persons recovering from FEP who received comprehensive, coordinated care received more SEE services and showed greater increases in work or school participation over two-years. Researchers also found that over half of the patients who had 3 or more SEE contacts began to develop these contacts 6 months or more after program entry; suggesting that many eventual participants in SEE were not initially interested in employment or school. These findings suggest that permitting flexible access to SEE services over a long-term stay may be beneficial in engaging the greatest number of patients in pursuing employment or educational goals. Secondly, the results of the study found that both NAVIGATE and CC participants showed a steady increase in public support or Social Security payments over time. The authors noted that this increase in public support might be closely tied to receiving Medicaid eligibility for health insurance. 

Rosenheck, R., et al., Supported employment and education in comprehensive, integrated care for first episode psychosis: Effects on work, school, and disability income, Schizophrenia Research. (2016),

Conference Dates
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The IEPA 11 Early Intervention in Mental Health Conference will be held at the Westin Copley Place, Boston, Massachusetts October 7-10, 2018.  More details will be posted to the conference website shortly:

The International Society for Psychological and Social Approches to Psychosis - United States Chapter 16th Annual Meeting will be held in Portland, Oregon November 17-19, 2017 at the University Place Hotel, Cosponsored by the EASA Center for Excellence at PSU. The theme is Psychosis in Context: Exploring Intersections in Diverse Identities and Extreme States. More details to be announced here:

Upcoming Events

Serving Early Psychosis Populations: Evidence-Based Practices & Systems

May 1, 2017 - 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM PDT
The Behavioral Health Center of Excellence at UC Davis
This one-day Symposium brings together decision makers, providers, consumers, family members, and researchers to exchange ideas and information about evidence-based practices and systems serving early psychosis populations. The day will cover a diverse set of topics including pathways into care, statewide approaches to providing services, addressing the needs of diverse populations, and funding approaches.

Lisa Dixon, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center and Director of the Division of Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research within the Department of Psychiatry. She also directs the Center for Practice Innovations at the New York State Psychiatric Institute

Tamara Sale, M.A., Director of the Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA) Center for Excellence at Portland State University Regional Research Institute. Ms. Sale was responsible for the development and implementation of early psychosis services in Oregon, starting with a five-county regional program in 2001 and statewide dissemination beginning in 2007.
For more information: Contact Amanda Berry 916-734-4349.

NTTAC Early Psychosis Sustainability Call:  State and National Strategies
April 7, 2017 (8:00 AM - 9:30 AM PT/11:00 AM – 12:30 PM/ET)
In partnership with the TA Network, the EASA Center for Excellence will host this call to discuss strategies for the sustainability of early psychosis programs, at the state and national level. Representatives from the National Council of State Mental Health Program Directors, NAMI national, the OASIS program in North Carolina, and the EASA program in Oregon will provide overviews of what has worked for them and current efforts, and participants will have an opportunity to share what they are learning, learn from each other, and strategize about ways to combine efforts.

The Intersection of Innovation and Action
April 3-5, 2017; Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA

The National Council for Behavioral Health will host its annual conference NatCon17 in Seattle, April 3-5, 2017, at the Washington State Convention Center. Preconference programs take place on Sunday, April 2nd. This event brings together executives, board members, thought leaders, and behavioral health professionals from the nation’s health, mental health, and addiction care organizations to discuss the  latest innovations and clinical best practices.  This year’s featured speakers include Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tom Insel, Patrick Kennedy, Harold S. Koplewicz, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and many more. 


For more information or to sign up for this newsletter, please visit our Prodrome and Early Psychosis Program Network (PEPPNET) website at: 

First Episode Bulletin is a quarterly newsletter produced by the Prodrome and Early Psychosis Program Network (PEPPNET). 

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