PEPPNET Quarterly Newsletter /
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Spring 2016 | Issue:No. 01
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Welcome to the first issue of the PEPPNET Quarterly Newsletter!  We hope this will be a useful new mechanism for carrying out one of the primary goals of PEPPNET, which is to link the many different efforts taking place across the United States in support of clinical programs for people with ultra high risk and/or first episode of psychosis.  We aim to be a resource to clinical programs as they develop and to be a partner in translating research in to community-level implementation. Through our three primary workgroups, Training & Technical Assistance, Treatment, and Lived Experience/Peer Support, we strive to support evidence-based implementation of best practices while ensuring that the voices of people and families with lived experience are included at all levels.  PEPPNET is a national, collaborative effort guided by a steering committee that includes representatives from the following institutions:
  • Columbia University
  • EASA Center for Excellence, Portland State University
  • Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine
  • IMHRO/One Mind Institute
  • Mental Health America
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
  • National Council for Behavioral Health
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • PIER Training Institute
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (facilitator & convener)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • UC Davis Department of Psychiatry
  • UCSF Department of Psychiatry
  • UNC at Chapel Hill Department of Psychiatry
  • Yale University Department of Psychiatry
  • Zucker Hillside Hospital
Thank you for participating in PEPPNET and for your involvement in this exciting area of national clinical growth. We encourage you to send us your stories, resources, and ideas for this newsletter. Please let us know how we can best be of support to you as you develop and implement your clinical programs.

Steven Adelsheim, MD
Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


In the News

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Congress Adds $400M in Funding for Mental Health
On December 18, 2015, Congress approved the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill which added nearly $400M in mental illness research and services, including a $50M increase to the Mental Health Block Grant program. Learn More »
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Partners for StrongMinds Launches
Partners for StrongMinds launched in November 2015 in partnership with longstanding brain health research organization One Mind Institute (IMHRO). Formerly named the National Psychosis Prevention Council, Partners for StrongMinds will raise awareness and funds to expand access to earlier, empowering treatment for those experiencing symptoms of psychosis for the first time. Partners for StrongMinds plans to grow awareness and increase treatment access in the United States; and just launched the Strong Minds Project, a digital outreach campaign aimed directly at teens and young adults, created and led by the organization’s nine-member National Youth Leadership Board of young people with personal experiences of psychosis. More information »

From the Research Front

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Comprehensive Versus Usual Community Care for First-Episode Psychosis: 2-Year Outcomes From the NIMH RAISE Early Treatment Program
Melissa Yanovitch, MSc, MS
In what is sure to become a seminal study in the field of early intervention for psychosis, Kane et al. (2015) have published a study on the implementation of a multidisciplinary, team-based, comprehensive care model for the treatment of first-episode psychosis in community care settings. The Early Treatment Program (ETP) is part of the National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode Early Treatment Program (RAISE). The treatment approach, called NAVIGATE, includes personalized medication management, family psychoeducation, resilience-focused individual therapy, and supported employment and education.
Study participants were 15-40 years old and diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, psychotic disorder not otherwise specified, or brief psychotic disorder according to DSM-IV and no more than 6 months of treatment with antipsychotic medications. Participants received treatment for a minimum of 2 years at any one of 34 clinical sites in 21 states.
The results of the study show that participants in the treatment condition experienced greater improvement both clinican and functional outcomes including quality of life, psychopathology, and greater involvement in work and school as compared to participants receiving usual community care (treatment determined by clinician and availability of services).

Results support the case for implementation in U.S. community care settings that wish to offer specialty services for early intervention for psychosis. For a detailed summary of the structure of the NAVIGATE program, please refer to Mueser et al. (2015).

Bertolote J, McGorry P: Early intervention and recovery for young people with early psychosis: consensus statement. Br J Psychiatry Suppl 2005; 48:s116–s119

Kane, J.M., Robinson, D.G., Schooler, N.R., Mueser, K.T., Penn, D.L., Rosenheck, R.A., ... Heinssen, R.K. (2015). Comprehensive versus usual community care for first-episode psychosis: 2-year outcomes from the NIMH RAISE early treatment program. American Journal of Psychiatry (ahead of print). 

Mueser, K.T., Penn, D.L., Addington, J., Brunette, M.F., Gingerich, S., Glynn, S.M., ... Kane, J.M. (2015). The NAVIGATE program for first episode psychosis: Rationale, overview, and description of psychosocial components. Psychiatric Services, 66 (7), 680-690.

Spotlight On

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Liza Watkins, LMSW and Lisa Dixon, MD MPH
Funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health, the OnTrackNY Initiative has been providing Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) treatment to young people experiencing First Episode Psychosis (FEP) in New York State since 2013. The goal of OnTrackNY is to help young adults with newly emerged non-affective psychotic disorders achieve their goals for school, work, and social relationships. OnTrackNY treatment teams serve up to 35-50 individuals age 16-30, depending on staffing, and provide a range of treatment including: case management for social and community needs, supported employment and education, FEP-relevant psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and primary care coordination, and family support and education. Principles of care include shared decision making, youth friendly and welcoming environments, and flexible and accessible recovery oriented services.

Ten OnTrackNY programs are currently operating in New York State, with plans to open an additional ten programs in 2016. The existing programs have demonstrated desired outcomes in terms of both symptoms and functioning in areas such as work and school. To date, the program has enrolled 284 individuals of whom virtually all have a schizophrenia spectrum disorder. Retention rates are high, with 83% of patients remaining in treatment after one year. Rates of school and work participation have almost doubled, with 46% enrolled in work or school at baseline and 80% after one year of treatment. Rates of hospitalization have declined substantially, with 71% of clients experiencing a recent hospitalization at baseline and just 13% after 1 year. As part of the OnTrackNY Initiative, clinical teams receive intensive training and technical assistance from the Center for Practice Innovations (CPI) at the New York State Psychiatric Institute led by Dr. Lisa Dixon who was a Principal Investigator for the Recovery after an Initial Schizophrenia Episode Implementation and Evaluation Study (RAISE IES). The training team at CPI also provides consultation and train ing in FEP services to state leaders and clinical teams around the country. Learn More »

Upcoming Events

March 22, 2016
Team-based Treatment for First Episode Psychosis is Cost Effective: Implications for Policy and Practice (WEBINAR)
Dr. Robert Rosenheck, Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University, will discuss a recently published analysis from the RAISE-ETP initiative that shows that “coordinated specialty care” (CSC) for young people with first episode psychosis is more cost-effective than typical community care.
Learn More →
June 8-10, 2016
Mental Health America’s 2016 Annual Conference: Media, Messaging and Mental Health, Alexandria, VA
This event will take an in-depth look at the impact and influence of media and the entertainment industry on the complex issues of mental health and mental illness.
Learn More →
October 20-22, 2016
Looking Back Moving Forward: The 10th International Conference on Early Psychosis, Marriott Milan, Italy
The IEPA is a biannual international conference that has served as a forum for groundbreaking discussions that have led to many breakthroughs in the area of early intervention.
Learn More →
First Episode Bulletin is a quarterly newsletter produced by the Prodrome and Early Psychosis Program Network (PEPPNET). Funding has been provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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