Alameda MHSA-Early Intervention at Onset of First Psychosis

Sponsor: Alameda County Health Care Services Agency

Location(s): United States


Prevention and Recovery in Early Psychosis PREP Program was begun as a collaboration between Family Service Agency and the University of California, San Francisco. It now includes seven organizations serving San Francisco and Alameda Counties.

The PREP Program is among the most comprehensive programs of science-based early diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation services for schizophrenia available in the United States. Unlike other treatments—which aim primarily at symptom management and rehabilitation after severe life disruptions have occurred—the PREP Program aims to prevent the onset of full psychosis, or, in cases in which full psychosis has already occurred, seeks to remit the disease and to rehabilitate cognitive capacities damaged by the disease. PREP carefully braids together six evidence-based practices and interventions into one integrated treatment approach.
1. Community education and outreach, which facilitates early identification of individuals at risk of psychosis, a huge factor in preventing the consequences associated with untreated psychosis and schizophrenia. A specially designed assessment is both sensitive and accurate in identifying people at risk, allowing early identification and prevention misdiagnosis or mislabeling.
2. Once engaged, PREP provides Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help clients manage their symptoms and better understand their condition.
3. When medication is needed, PREP uses algorithm medication management to identify the lowest possible dosage creating the least possible side effects.
4. PREP engages the client and family in Multifamily Groups that create a support system and promote a positive therapeutic community within the family.
5. PREP uses Strength-Based Care Management to help the client and family develop relapse prevention plans and a life plan that builds upon strengths and provides goals for the future.
6. Finally, PREP provides vocational planning that reinforces the life plan with tangible goals for a career.