March 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)               


On Saturday, March 19, 2016, the Maryland Early Intervention Program participated in the B'More Healthy Expo, the largest indoor free–admission public event in Maryland. This event brought an opportunity for the residents to learn all that is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle and have fun at the same time. The goal of the Expo is to impact individuals, families, communities and in turn, the entire city. EIP was one of 200 exhibitors and interacted with several diverse members of the Baltimore community. The Outreach Team spoke to over 300 attendees (personally!) about the services and resources available through the EIP program. It turned out to be a great networking opportunity for future outreach and education events, as well as, a chance to educate young people and providers about the importance of early identification and timely intervention!


Caroline Demro (Strive for Wellness/YouthFIRST) at the EIP Outreach Booth

Don't Miss the "Culture and Psychosis" Webinar Hosted by NIH

Monday, April 11, 2016 (2-3 PM EST)
Presenter: Tanya Marie Luhrmann, Ph.D., Stanford University 
Register HERE to receive instructions for participation
Hosted by The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR): Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Lecture Series

 This talk presents two research projects that demonstrate that cultural
 context shapes schizophrenia. The first is an ethnographic  study of the
 lives of homeless psychotic women on the streets of Chicago. Why do
 so many women refuse offers of help? It can  be tempting to attribute
 such refusals to a lack of insight. The ethnographic research found an additional reason: that there was  in effect a “culture of the street” in the institutional circuit of jail, hospital, supported housing and homelessness. In that dense social world, women would say that “the street will drive you crazy.” The research shows that this idiom embeds three beliefs: that the street will drive you crazy, but that only the weak will fall ill, and that when someone falls ill, their illness is permanent. As a result, the local cultural in effect invites women to signal their strength by refusing care. This work has implications for the way we deliver care.  The second project compares the voice-hearing experiences of people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder in the South Bay, California; Accra, Ghana; and Chennai, India. We found that Americans felt assaulted by their voices, that they had no prior personal relationship with the voices, and that their voices were full of violence. Not one American reported a primarily positive relationship with their voices. By contrast, in Accra and Chennai, voice-hearing was mostly attributed to spirits or to persons the subject already knew. In Accra, subjects were more likely to report that they hear God or spirits, and half the subjects reported a predominantly positive experience of their voices. In Chennai, subjects were more likely to report that they heard kin. Over a third reported positive experiences with their voices. Negative voices were likely to focus on sexual shaming. These results may have clinical implications. They suggest that there is a learning dimension to the voice-hearing experience, which could support new research and activist movements which emphasize teaching subjects to interact with their voices and to explore their meaning. In addition to present specific research findings, the talk offers an example of ethnographic and qualitative methods. It argues that these should be part of the overall research program through which we seek to understand psychiatric illness and care more successfully for those with psychiatric disorders.

Introducing New Advisory Council Representative from Community College of Baltimore County

EIP is excited to welcome Heather Griner to the Advisory Council, as our new community college representative. In August 2015 CCBC launched a new student support program entitled College and Community Outreach Services.  This service provides students with community referrals to address human services concerns, including but not limited to food, housing, child care, transportation, mental health counseling, legal resources, transportation and medical needs. 

Heather Griner is Director of College and Community Outreach Services at The Community College of Baltimore County.  Previously Heather was the Assistant Director of Student Services at CCBC focusing on disability support services, academic advisement and clinical counseling.   Heather has a B.S. in Psychology from Towson University, a M.Ed. in School Counseling from Loyola College in Maryland, a post-master certificate in Clinical Community Counseling from Johns Hopkins University and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership for Changing Populations at Notre Dame of Maryland University.  Heather has been a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) in the State of Maryland since 2008. 
(Heather, on the far left, and her team)
We are looking forward to Heather's contributions and community college perspective on the council!

Program Highlight: Maryland Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Network (MD-SPIN)

Maryland Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Network (MD-SPIN) is a five year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant that provides training, resources, and technical assistance to advance a comprehensive suicide prevention and early intervention service system for youth and adults ages 10 – 24.  MD-SPIN is led by the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration; key partners include the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, K-12 and higher education institutions, Community Behavioral Health Association and the Maryland Coalition of Families for Children’s Mental Health.  The purpose of the grant is to reduce premature loss of lives from suicide by increasing the number of at risk youth and young adults who are identified, referred and receive quality behavioral health services.  High risk populations of focus include LGBTQ, transition age youth, veterans and military families, and youth with emotional and behavioral concerns.  The key components of MD-SPIN are:  1. Technical Assistance and Training Center.  2. Screening, training, and follow-up protocols in emergency departments and the inpatient units to which they refer.  3. Online gatekeeper training by Kognito’s Training Games and Simulations for Health.

 Kognito is an online, Avatar-based and evidence-based interactive training on student mental health and suicide prevention.  Kognito is designed to prepare educators, administrators, staff, and students to recognize signs of psychological distress, effectively approach a student in psychological distress, and refer the individual as needed for appropriate support. 
Kognito is available at no cost and easily accessed online at  Each module is about 45 to 60 minutes focusing on transition age youth, veterans, LGBTQ, and youth with emotional and behavioral concerns (ages 10 – 24).

**Professional Development and Continuing Education credits are available**


To learn a little more about Kognito and how to access the online platform, please check out Gatekeeper Training for Faculty, Staff, and Students

For more information please contact: 
Larraine Bernstein ( Program Manager or 
Tom Sloane ( Education Liaison 

How to Get Involved with the Peer Services and Leadership in Early Intervention for Psychosis Workgroup

The work-group is planning on meeting approximately 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 April 25, 2016 at 11am.  If you’re interested in joining the peer-involvement workgroup, please contact Melanie Bennett at  

You can access the original peer-support for FEP guidance manual developed by Dr. Jones:
Click here  

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 at
  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 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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