Technical Assistance Materials Available on Early Intervention in Psychosis

March 15, 2019

During the last five years, the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have supported the development of Coordinated Specialty Care programs for persons experiencing a first episode of psychosis. In support of these programs Congress increased the mental health block grant by 10% and earmarked these new monies for first episode psychosis programs. As part of the implementation effort, CMHS contracted with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD to develop a suite of technical assistance materials that are available on the NASMHPD website. These products address a wide range of topics including clinical and treatment issues, program implementation, management financing among several other topics. They include documents with special attention to audiences outside of the specialty mental health sector (e.g., criminal justice, education, faith communities). A full list of all the topics along with hyperlinks to each of them can be found here.

Below are a few examples of products that may be particularly of interest to CMHNetwork readers.

  • Engaging with Schools to Support Your Child with Psychosis
    A tip sheet providing parents of young people who are experiencing psychosis the information they need to work effectively with their child’s high school or middle school, including a discussion of issues that may emerge in working with schools such as the implication of sharing the student’s diagnosis, being alert to the possibility of bullying, and other challenges.
  • Helping Families Understand Services for Persons with Early Serious Mental Illness
    A primer on what families should expect from the CSC team – such as meaningful involvement, shared decision making, understandable information on their loved one’s condition, and clear and accurate guidance about sharing information. It highlights ways that families can best be involved with the CSC team and in supporting their family member.
  • Windows of Opportunity in Early Psychosis Care: Navigating Cultural Dilemmas
    A series of three training videos offering strategies for understanding cultural differences and crafting engagement strategies that are sensitive to these differences within the CSC framework. A companion training guide highlights important themes and provides discussion questions to explore the video’s content further.

Readers should also feel free to contact David Shern at NASMHPD ( with any questions regarding these TA materials.

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About the Author

David Shern

From 2006 to 2012 Dr. David L. Shern served as the President and CEO of Mental Health America (MHA), formerly the National Mental Health Association and on an interim basis in 2014 following the departure of his successor. MHA is the country’s oldest advocacy organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness. After leaving MHA Shern joined the staff of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors as a Senior Public Health Advisor. He also has an appointment in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins.

Prior to joining MHA, Dr. Shern served as dean of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) at the University of South Florida, one of the largest research and training institutes in behavioral health services in the United States.

His work has spanned a variety of mental health services research topics including serving street-dwelling individuals with SMI; epidemiological studies of the need for community services; the effects of differing organizational, financing and service delivery strategies on continuity of care and client outcome and the use of alternative service delivery strategies such as peer counseling and self help on the outcomes of care.

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