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Outreach and Educational Services

The Outreach and Education arm of the Early Intervention Program is working to expand the reach of education and related informational resources to diverse stakeholders across Maryland.

Specific Goals

  • Developing, tailoring, and expanding existing training materials to a broad array of audiences such as youth, families, K-12 schools, primary care, and behavioral health, and disseminating training statewide.
  • Developing and supporting infrastructure and procedures to receive and respond to requests for outreach and education related to the early identification and treatment of psychosis.
  • Developing outreach and education materials in a range of formats (e.g., in-person, web-based, video, and written).

What We Provide

The EIP team provides outreach and education to a variety of groups, such as:

School Personnel

The onset of serious mental illness, such as psychosis, often occurs between the ages of 12 and 25. Vulnerability to these illnesses may be inherited or acquired early in development, but they most often emerge in their full-blown form during adolescence or young adulthood.

School staff members who see these young people every day may be able to notice changes that others might not.

The Maryland EIP helps schools by providing outreach and education to administration, staff, and teachers. Our interactive presentations offer information on understanding psychosis and recognizing the early warning signs. The presentations are designed to minimize stigma and reduce misinformation about mental illness.

We also provide information on when to make a referral to the EIP.

Contact us for more information on how the EIP can be helpful in your school.

Behavioral Health Providers

Behavioral health providers can help people with psychosis by understanding the earliest signs of illness and connecting individuals with appropriate evidence-based treatment.

The symptom profile for early psychosis is complex, and early symptoms of psychosis can be easily misinterpreted as other illnesses such as mood disorders, substance use disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. We offer specialized training for behavioral health providers in identifying individuals at risk for or experiencing early psychosis.

We also offer training in techniques (such as Shared Decision Making) that can be particularly helpful when working with individuals in the earliest stages of a mental illness with psychosis.

Expediting effective treatment could improve the lives of individuals experiencing early psychosis by reducing the duration of their untreated symptoms. A shorter duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is associated with improved functional outcomes and quality of life for individuals experiencing early psychosis. Individuals receiving effective treatment with a behavioral health provider are also less likely to have relapses or be hospitalized.

Behavioral health providers can be equipped to:

  1. Offer individuals and their families education about early psychosis, including common symptoms and strategies for coping;
  2. Effectively discuss treatment decisions, including medications, with individuals;
  3. Engage families in the treatment process; and
  4. Better understand and administer psychotropic medications, as appropriate.

The EIP also offers specialized training in co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders. Substance abuse is the most common co-occurring disorder in people with psychosis, but ordinary substance abuse treatment programs usually do not address this population's special needs. When mental health treatment programs and substance use treatment programs are used together, individuals get better results.

Behavioral Health providers may also choose to refer individuals experiencing these symptoms for consultations or treatment. The EIP offers a variety of services, including clinical and consultation services, to behavioral health providers.

Contact us for more information on how the EIP can be helpful in your agency.

Primary Care Physicians

Primary care physicians (PCPs) commonly care for individuals presenting with a wide variety of symptoms. A PCP may be the first professional contacted when an individual experiences early symptoms of a mental illness with psychosis. By better understanding the clinical presentation at the earliest stages of psychosis, PCPs may play an integral role in identifying individuals and connecting them with effective treatment. PCPs may also help people with warning signs of psychosis get critical early treatment and education before these symptoms significantly disrupt their lives.

Individuals with a mental illness with psychosis have more comorbid medical conditions and higher mortality rates than patients without a serious mental illness. Many medications prescribed for serious mental illness have significant metabolic and cardiovascular adverse effects.

The EIP offers education in these areas for PCPs:

  1. Methods for identifying the earliest symptoms of psychosis;
  2. Available evidence-based practices;
  3. Referral procedures for consultations and behavioral health treatment
  4. Psychotropic medication management; and
  5. Comorbid medical conditions for individuals experiencing a mental illness with psychosis.

The EIP also offers a variety of direct services, such as clinical and consultation services, to primary care physicians.

Contact us for more information on how the EIP can be helpful in your clinic.