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Ohio State’s Early Psychosis Intervention Center (EPICENTER) has received a $1.1 million federal grant to provide clinical care for local residents ages 12 to 25, who show early warning signs of psychotic disorders. Ohio State was among 21 centers nationwide to receive the four-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. EPICENTER also has received a $500,000 grant from the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County in central Ohio.

EPICENTER’s newest project, called Step-Based Care for Individuals at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis, includes options for psychotherapy, medication, peer support, family services and vocational and educational support. 

As part of the step-based care design, participants initially receive low intensity interventions and will continue with more intensive treatments until they meet predetermined criteria for symptomatic remission and functional stability. 

Goals for the program include:

  • Minimizing the number of individuals meeting clinical high risk (CHR) criteria for psychosis who go on to develop a psychotic disorder.

  • Reducing the symptomatic distress – including anxiety and depression – experienced by individuals meeting CHR criteria.

  • Promoting improved functional outcomes with regard to work, school and social relationships among individuals meeting CHR criteria.

EPICENTER provides specialized, phase-specific treatment for young adults early in the course of a psychotic illness, such as psychosis not otherwise specified, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder (with psychotic features) and bipolar disorder (with psychotic features).

“With this new initiative, we want to enhance a young person’s ability to meet the demands of transition into adulthood, including school, work, meeting new people and becoming independent,” says Nicholas Breitborde, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Ohio State. 

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