August 2016 news from the Maryland Early Intervention Program (EIP) team!
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The EIP offers specialized programs with expertise in the early identification, evaluation, and comprehensive psychiatric treatment of adolescents and young adults with, or at risk for, psychotic disorders, and uses an integrated approach to address the health and mental health needs of young adults, including providing support for co-occurring substance use disorders, and metabolic and other co-occurring medical conditions.

For more information, contact us at                

phone: 1-877-277-MEIP (6347)               

Cultural Competence and Caring for Individuals with First-Episode Psychosis and their Families

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) sponsored a webinar on the cultural competency approach used by the OnTrack NY team, a coordinated specialty care (CSC) program that provides early intervention services to individuals experiencing a first-episode psychosis (FEP).  

Description: The webinar covered strategies for effectively working with individuals and families with diverse religious beliefs, varying levels of acculturation, language barriers, and cultural issues specific to adolescents and young adults.  Another key element of the presentation involved how to address cultural aspects of gender and sexuality in the care of early psychosis, including working with individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), or who are exploring their gender identity or sexual orientation. 


                           Click here to view the Powerpoint presentation slides.           

Mental Health in Schools: A Hidden Crisis Affecting Millions of Students

In part one of an NPR Ed series on mental health in schools, this article discusses the "silent epidemic" in which nearly 80 percent of children who need mental health services do not receive them.  These mental health concerns can further tie into major educational problems, including chronic absence, low achievement, disruptive behavior, and dropping out. Experts say that schools should now play a role in helping their students receive mental health services.

"Schools could play a role in identifying students with problems and helping them succeed.  Yet it's a role many schools are not prepared for."

Unfortunately, most educators do not have the time or resources and many receive only minimal training on mental health issues.

"Often because of a lack of resources, there just aren't enough people to tackle the [mental health] in need can fall through the cracks."

Educators, advocates, teachers, and parents across the country say there needs to be a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to mental health and education, including parents, teachers, school health and mental health providers, and administration.  This could include further training on mental health issues as well as allocated resources to this field.

The TA Network's Monthly Minute on Psychosis

(Click picture above to be directed to video)

The National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth and Family Mental Health (NTTAC) and The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) latest Monthly Minute focuses on living with psychosis.  The short animated video provides an overview of the topic and words from youth and young adults diagnosed with psychosis.  People with lived experiences share their stories and feelings:

"It's a temporary change in how you perceive the world and how others perceive you, that feels permanent."

"I worried that I was so disconnected from myself and the world that I was never going to be the same."

"With help from my support network and treatment team, my sense of self and confidence grew."

Peering In: A Look at Mental Health Peer Providers and How They Help People Recover

As EIP gears up to hire Peer Support Specialists to join our team, this article explores the important role mental health peer providers can have in the recovery process.

Emily Grossman, a current peer specialist, describes her journey from being in and out of a psychiatric hospital during college, to living in recovery from mental illness and providing mental health services to others.  The model, as Grossman explains, is that a person "with lived experience of mental illness and recovery [can] really help others to get well."  The peer specialist has a unique role in that they work closely alongside social workers, psychiatrists, supported employment specialists, and others in the mental health field.

Grossman believes that peer specialists have three important roles: 1) to provide people with mental illness hope, "no one can show a person that they can recover from mental illness like a person who's been there;" 2) to understand and educate on the how of recovery, "we learned how to help people by recovering ourselves...we've walked the walk, tried all different types of treatments, and have seen first-hand what is effective;" and 3) to be an advocate, "we don't want you to live through the same pain...we'll fight for you like no one else."

Grossman states that most importantly recovery is possible "not just for me, but for EVERYONE."

Peer Services for Young Adults Workgroup

The workgroup is planning on meeting monthly to focus on leveraging current opportunities for peer supports in EIP and other organizations that could benefit from peer support.  The next meeting will be Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 9am.  If you’re interested in joining the peer-involvement workgroup, please contact Melanie Bennett

Access the original peer-support for FEP guidance manual developed by Dr. Jones.

As always, don't forget about Maryland EIP's four services to support individuals, families, and professionals who may encounter early psychosis:

  1. Outreach and Education Services – To behavioral health providers, schools, primary care settings, and consumer organizations. For more information or to schedule a presentation to your organization, contact Eryn Bentley.
  2. Clinical Services – For 12-30-year-olds who present with clinical high risk symptoms that may be predictive of future psychosis, who have early signs of psychosis, or are in the initial stages of psychoses. Services include the Strive for Wellness Clinic, the MPRC First Episode Clinic (FEC), and the Division of Community Psychiatry’s RAISE Connection Program. The Maryland Early Intervention Program Network currently provides services via two Early Intervention Teams: Johns Hopkins Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic (EPIC) & OnTrack Maryland at Family Services, Inc.
  3. Consultation Services – To providers regarding identification and treatment for individuals that may be experiencing symptoms that may be predictive of future psychosis, who have early signs of psychosis, or are in the initial stages of psychoses.
  4. Training and Implementation Support Services – Will establish Early Intervention Teams (EITs) throughout the state and create a learning collaborative so that EITs and others providing services to those with early psychosis can collaborate, share resources, and provide support and coordination of service delivery.

All EIP initiatives may be contacted through our toll free number (1-877-277-MEIP) or e-mail ( A trained specialist is available to guide you toward the appropriate services. For more information on accessing services offered through the EIP, visit

Copyright © 2015, Maryland Early Intervention Program (EIP), All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
University of Maryland, Baltimore
School of Medicine
737 W. Lombard Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
1 (877) 277-MEIP (6347)

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