Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

New approach to detecting and treating early psychosis gains a foothold in Minnesota

Unlike traditional outpatient therapy, which generally provides only drugs and psychotherapy, the new approach provides coordinated, team-based services designed to help young people re-engage with the community and lead productive lives after psychotic episodes.

With nearly $3 million in federal funds, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and the University of Minnesota this spring quietly rolled out early psychosis treatment programs based on this new, more intensive model of care. The goal is helping people mostly in their teens and 20s come back from a psychotic “break,” often marked by deep paranoia, confusion and disconnection from reality.

“We are trying to flip the system on its head,” said Piper Meyer-Kalos, a clinical psychologist at University of Minnesota spearheading the U’s new early psychosis treatment program, which launched in March. “We start by building on people’s strengths … so they can find purpose in their lives and improve their overall well-being.”

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