NYSPI/Columbia Psychiatry Program #1 on NIMH's Top Ten List of 2014

February 12, 2015

The end of the year is a natural time to take stock of notable events. At the National Institute of Mental Health, the RAISE research project headed the top ten list of notable achievements in 2014, according to NIMH Director Dr. Tom Insel. 

RAISE, or Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode, epitomized a new therapeutic model to address the needs of people in the early stages of schizophrenia. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the National Institute of Mental Health, its goal was to prevent the deterioration in function that often accompanies a schizophrenia diagnosis.

NIMH funded two RAISE research projects, and as Dr. Insel noted, it was data from the implementation study lead by researchers at Columbia Psychiatry in partnership with the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) that “convinced Congress to provide funding to states to move ahead with program dissemination in 2014.” At Columbia,Principal investigator Lisa Dixon, MD, Director of the Center for Practice Innovations at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, noted, “From the beginning, our goal has been to work with our state partners to learn how to implement and sustain youth-friendly treatment programs for individuals experiencing early psychosis so that we can see what services people actually use and find helpful and produce a roadmap that we can work with OMH to implement state-wide.  We are thrilled that this congressional stimulus is letting us facilitate implementation of this model in New York State and beyond.”

Study findings suggested that youth and young adults with early psychosis participating in the RAISE Connection program had very high rates of engagement in treatment and significantly improved rates of school and work participation while increasing rates of remission. Its findings have informed the OnTrackNY clinical program. OnTrackNY extends the impact and reach of RAISE, providing recovery-oriented individualized care to young people experiencing the early phases of schizophrenia. The program works with families and other supports to help patients achieve their personal and professional goals, to stay “ON TRACK.”

• Listen to Dr. Dixon discuss OnTrackNY on a BlogTalkRadio podcast.


Departmental News, InPsych