MHA Westchester Launches First Episode Initiative (2)

ANNOUNCING THE LAUNCH OF ONTRACKNY @ MHA The Mental Health Association of Westchester is happy to announce the launch of OnTrackNY @ MHA, My Health, My Choices, My Future. OnTrackNY is an evidence-based team approach to providing recovery-oriented treatment to young people who have recently begun experiencing psychosis.

Early psychosis refers to the period of time during which a person begins experiencing particular signs that may include: auditory hallucinations, visual hallucinations, paranoid feelings, unusual beliefs or disorganized thoughts. Some may also experience a lack of interest in things they used to be interested in, a lack of emotion, social withdrawal or changes in attention to physical care, and difficulty communicating.

The initiative is being led by Dr. Tia Dole, who prior to coming to MHA, was co-founder of The PEER Program at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, an early intervention program for first episode of psychosis.

Using a team approach, OnTrackNY at MHA works with young adults aged 16 to 30, and their families, to help them achieve their goals for school, work, and relationships. Although the experience of psychosis and associated behaviors can be frightening, recovery is a reality. With the right intervention, at the right time, individuals can and will continue on their journey through life. Many will quite quickly feel back to "normal" and enjoy their friendships, families and romantic relationships. It is the mission of the program to support young people to stay "on track," working towards their goals.

In the past, being diagnosed with psychosis often meant that the future people had planned for themselves may not happen. However, recent research and practice has shown us that early intervention can halt the progression of the condition. In fact, people who get the right treatment and support early are more likely to keep living their lives as they imagined.

Please contact us at ontrackny at mhawestchester.org<mailto:ontrackny at mhawestchester.org> or 914-666-4646 x7725 with questions.

MHA is one of four sites who have been awarded funds for staff, training, and technical assistance, to be administered by the Center for Practice Innovation at the New York State Psychiatric Institute under the direction of Lisa Dixon, M.D. M.P.H. and funded by The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH<http://www.omh.ny.gov/>), in collaboration with The Center for Practice Innovations at Columbia Psychiatry<http://practiceinnovations.org/>, The New York State Psychiatric Institute<http://nyspi.org/>, and The Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene<http://corporate.rfmh.org/>.