What components of Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) programs make this approach especially useful as a treatment for First Episode Psychosis (FEP)?

Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) is an evidence-based early intervention approach that is especially suited for treatment of individuals during the first 2 to 3 years after psychosis onset. CSC is a recovery-oriented treatment program which promotes shared decision making and uses a team of specialists who work with you or your relative to create a personal treatment plan. An assessment of you or your relative’s initial level of functioning, as well as awareness of self-identified goals and needs, are essential components of the process of the CSC program. The specialists provide services to individuals with First Episode Psychosis (FEP) and offer case management, medication management, psychotherapy, supported employment and supported education, and family education and support. Treatment decisions are made depending on the individual’s needs and preferences. You and your relative and the team work together to make treatment decisions, with input from family members whenever possible. Some individuals will need more intensive help during the initial treatment phase and possibly throughout. In CSC, the emphasis is on improved client engagement with the array of CSC treatment components that are offered and how optimization of these components can lead to improved outcomes.

There are many different programs that use the CSC approach. In the United States, examples of CSC programs include (but are not limited to) NAVIGATE, the Connection Program, OnTrackNY, the Specialized Treatment Early in Psychosis (STEP) program, and the Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA). There are also related programs for FEP such as RAISE. RAISE is the name of a research initiative developed and funded by NIMH to test CSC programs.

For additional information on First Episode Psychosis and CSC see this resource: First Episode Psychosis Programs: A Guide to State Expansion (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2017)

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