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First Episode Psychosis

Psychosis is characterized as disruptions to a person’s thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to recognize what is real and what isn’t. Psychosis is a symptom, not an illness, and it is more common than you may think. In the U.S., approximately 100,000 young people experience psychosis each year. Learn more about psychosis.

First Episode Psychosis (FEP) programs help people who are experiencing their initial symptoms of psychosis so that their long-term outcomes are improved. FEP programs offer rapid access and enrollment in services, comprehensive clinical care and support for the individual and their family. Research shows that the earlier people experiencing psychosis receive treatment, the better their long-term quality of life. Learn more about early intervention and research.

Individuals and Families

With a peak onset occurring between 15-25 years of age, psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia can derail a young person’s social, academic, and vocational development. Youth who are experiencing psychosis are often frightened and confused, and struggle to understand what is happening to them. They also present unique challenges to family members, including irrational behavior, aggression against self or others, difficulties communicating and relating, and conflicts with authority figures.


National organizations offer a number of tools to assist providers in readiness for providing services to individuals with first episode psychosis, including webinars and issue briefs.

Ohio's FEP program

Using SAMHSA federal Block Grant funds of $1.6 million, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services funded seven agencies that provide services in 17 counties to develop or expand programs for individuals experiencing their first episode of psychosis. The FEP programs target individuals ages 15-35 who are within two years of their initial symptoms of psychosis. These providers offer the Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) Model which is primarily designed for adolescents and young adults. CSC consists of assertive case management, individual or group psychotherapy, supported employment and education services, family education and support, and possibly low doses of anti-psychotic medications. These services are also closely coordinated with primary health care.

Learn more about CSC
Contacts for Ohio Teams
Presentation on Ohio's FEP Projects (SFY 2015-16)

Contact Us

Project Contacts
First Episode Psychosis Project Contacts

First Episode
Psychosis Grantees