What are some strategies and resources for addressing the first episode of a psychotic illnesses?

Early diagnosis and comprehensive care for new onset psychotic disorders can improve quality of life and psychopathology and increase involvement in work and school. Early identification and a shorter duration of untreated psychosis is associated with greater improvement. Since 2016, Congress has mandated that 10% of state block grant funds be dedicated to evidence-based services targeting first-episode psychosis. The NAVIGATE program, the clinical intervention used in the National Institute of Mental Health funded RAISE study, includes four components: Individualized Medication Management, Supported Employment and Education, Individual Resiliency Training, and Family Education. For medication management, doses for most antipsychotics required for treatment of first episode psychosis are lower than those needed for treatment of multi-episode patients. Medications are given in sequence, with patients progressing from one medication to the next until satisfactory outcomes are obtained for both symptoms and side effects. Detailed protocols are available on the RAISE website.

REFERENCES

The NAVIGATE Psychopharmacological Treatment Committee. (2014). NAVIGATE Psychopharmacological Treatment Manual (Prescribers Manual). Retrieved from http://navigateconsultants.org/manuals/

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Publications. (2017). Snapshot of State Plans for Using the Community Mental Health Block Grant Ten Percent Set-Aside to Address First Episode Psychosis. Retrieved from https://www.nasmhpd.org/content/snapshot-state-plans-using-community-mental-health-block-grant-ten-percent-set-aside-address

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