The Connection Program: Providers
The Connection Program is a clinical research study for adolescents and young adults experiencing a first episode of psychosis. The Program’s goal is to deliver a multidisciplinary team-based treatment designed to reduce or prevent disability and to foster recovery among young people in the early stages of psychosis. Because your patient’s personal needs and goals are an important part of their recovery, the intervention is designed to promote their engagement and participation in their treatment.
The ultimate aim of the Connection Programis to help people who have had psychotic episodes by providing coordinated and assertive treatment in the earliest stages of illness, when symptoms may be most responsive.
This Program offers health care providers and other professionals like you the opportunity to help change the trajectory of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders so your patients can lead fulfilling, productive lives. You can download a brochure describing the study in New York or in Maryland.
Is the Connection Program right for my patient and is he/she eligible?
The Connection Program will provide treatment services to individuals between the ages of 15 (16 in New York) and 35 who have been experiencing psychotic symptoms for more than a week but less than two years. Psychotic symptoms include hallucinations, unusual thoughts or beliefs, or disorganized thinking.
What is involved in participation?
Treatment centers are located in Baltimore, Maryland and New York City (Manhattan).
Participants will receive individualized program services for up to two years that may include:
- Meetings with a psychiatrist
- Medication management
- Receiving help with finding a job or returning to school
- Substance abuse treatment
- Other support services
The Connection Program emphasizes assertive outreach and engagement strategies, joint decision making between consumers and providers, and intensive, time-limited treatment. All treatment is guided by current evidence on the most effective interventions for helping people with first episode psychosis. Treatment team members have been trained by national experts in evidence-based approaches including: optimizing psychopharmacologic treatment, supported employment, social skills training and integrated psychiatric and substance abuse treatment.
Study interviews will take place every three to six months and will include measures of employment status, academic performance, and social functioning.
At the end of the study, participants will be transitioned to services within their community.
How do I refer to the study?
Simply call (888) 864-5911 (New York) or (888) 684-5458 (Maryland) to find out more about the Connection Program and for assistance in referring patients. If you prefer, you can fill out the request form or fax us a permission to contact form (download here for New York, or here for Maryland). Our research team will respond to your request quickly and guide you through the participant referral process.
Who is conducting the program?
The Connection Program is part of the RAISE (Recovery After Initial Schizophrenia Episode) initiative of the National Institute of Mental Health. The RAISE Connection Program is being led by Dr. Lisa Dixon at Columbia University/NYSPI and Dr. Melanie Bennett at the University of Maryland. Dr. Dixon is the Director of the Center for Practice Innovations at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Bennett is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland. More information is available at ClinicalTrials.gov
Are there costs to, or compensations for, my patient?
The Program may bill participants’ health insurance for services the study provides, though insurance will not be billed for any services paid for by the study contract. If participants do not have health insurance, services from the study will be free of charge. Participants will be compensated for their time and travel expenses each time they complete a research interview.
What are the benefits to my patient for participating in this study?
The Program’s intervention has been designed by leading clinicians and researchers, assuring the highest quality of care and treatment for your patient. The Program’s health professionals will meet your patient where they are and encourage them to be an active participant in their treatment and recovery plan. Their needs and concerns, as well as their personal goals, will be taken seriously and addressed with respect. By receiving individualized care that leads to recovery, your patient’s symptoms can be decreased, their general health and well-being can improve, and they can have the greatest opportunity to live their best life.