Alta Provides Services to Schizophrenia Sufferers as Part of the FIRST Program
The FIRST Mahoning County program — a comprehensive treatment program for individuals who have had a first episode of a psychotic illness — is a collaboration between Alta Behavioral Healthcare, Compass Family & Community Services, the Mahoning County Mental Health & Recovery Board, and the Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeST) Center of Northeast Ohio Medical University.
A psychotic illness is a mental illness in which someone experiences some loss of contact with reality. Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are examples of psychotic illnesses.
FIRST is a specialized treatment program that helps individuals who are between the ages of 15 and 40 and who have had psychotic symptoms for no more than 18 months. Research suggests that early identification and intervention of schizophrenia spectrum disorders is very important, and the earlier and more comprehensive the treatment, the better the likelihood of a faster, more complete recovery.
The FIRST Mahoning County team members work together to provide treatment, information and support to clients and their families and significant others. Components of the program may include:
- individual counseling
- psychiatric care
- supported employment/education
- family education and support
- case management
To refer someone or learn more about the FIRST Mahoning County program, contact the FIRST Mahoning County Team Leader at (234) 201-2512.
PHOTO: Joseph Shorokey, CEO of Alta Behavioral Healthcare (left) and Nick Dunlap of Northeast Ohio Medical University (right) represent two of the agencies collaborating in the FIRST Mahoning County program.