About Us

Worried about recent changes in thoughts and feelings?

The COPE Clinic evaluates and treats adolescents and young adults (ages 14-30) who may be at risk for psychosis.

We are located at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center / NYSPI in New York City.

The Center of Prevention and Evaluation (COPE) is a clinical research program, which focuses on teenagers and young adults who are experiencing a certain set of problems – specifically anxiety, social withdrawal, unusual thoughts, and sensory misperceptions. This constellation of symptoms is called “clinical high risk” and is associated with both current difficulties in functioning and an increased risk for developing psychosis, as compared with peers.

COPE’s mission is to increase understanding about the risk for and early stages of evolving psychotic disorder. With a greater understanding about the clinical high-risk state, we can improve detection and intervention aimed at preventing psychosis and improving day-to-day functioning. At COPE, a variety of studies are underway that aim to help us better identify who is likely to develop psychosis by studying perceptual changes, brain imaging, cognitive functioning, and the effect of stress on the mind.

Only about 30% of people identified as being at risk go on to develop psychosis. Nevertheless, COPE recommends clinical treatment for its participants and offers brief clinical therapy, evaluations, and medical consultations free of charge for participants in research.

Our Team


Ragy Girgis, MD

Research Psychologist

Carol Cohen-Romano, PhD

Clinical Staff

Kathy Sommerich, LCSW/R

Research Staff

Allegra Califano, BA
Hannah Hesson, BA
Melissa Bornico, BS