Improving Life Trajectories for Youth with Early Psychosis
Anke A. Ehrhardt, Ph.D., Walter O. Bockting, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator: Lisa Dixon, M.D.
The goal of this project is to establish community outreach efforts for youth with early psychosis (indicative of emerging schizophrenia), who will be will be identified and connected with evidence-based treatment. Shortening the duration of untreated psychosis reduces disability so often associated with schizophrenia by helping youth stay on-track with respect to school/work, relationships, and health. Two new teams will be added to New York’s OnTrackNY initiative to provide evidence-based Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) to youth with early psychosis. OnTrackNY uses a Critical Time Intervention model to provide, over the course of about 2 years, emotional and practical support while strengthening youths’ ties to treatment, family and friends during the critical period of early psychosis. Drs. Bockting and Ehrhardt are lending their expertise to build capacity to reach out to LGBT youth with early psychosis, assess and respond to their specific needs, and strengthen the factors of resilience identified in empirical research. This includes development of tailored outreach materials; training in LGBT cultural and clinical competence for providers, staff, and referral networks; education for youth, families, and schools; and support for youth’s identity development. Clinicians affiliated with the LGBT Health Initiative are also available for consultation and liaison, including in the highly specialized area of transgender health.