A collaborative for the early identification and treatment of mental illness with psychosis

MPRC First Episode Clinic

The Maryland Psychiatric Center's First Episode Clinic provides comprehensive, specialty care for individuals suffering from first episode psychosis.

For more information, visit firstepisodeclinic.org.

RAISE Connection Program

The RAISE Connection Program offers an opportunity for individuals experiencing the early stages of mental illness with psychosis to receive comprehensive treatment.

The goal of the RAISE Connection Program is to help you cope with these experiences and improve your ability to reach goals you have in life, including wellness, employment, educational and social goals.

What does participation involve?

  • Support services from a specialized team for up to two years based on your needs and preferences
  • Collaboration with a psychiatrist for medication management
  • Individual therapy
  • Family involvement
  • Help finding a job or educational program
  • Setting goals and working toward them with support of the team and your identified support team

You can learn more about the RAISE Connection Program's clinical services: HERE


Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) Research Project

The Maryland Early Intervention Program grew out of a research study called Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE). RAISE was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), with the overarching goal of fundamentally changing the path and prognosis of schizophrenia through coordinated and aggressive treatment in the earliest stages of illness.  Helping early-stage individuals gain access to intensive services is believed to reduce the likelihood of long-term disability that people with schizophrenia often experience and, ultimately, to help them lead productive, independent lives.

NIMH awarded separate contracts to two independent research teams1 to develop and test interventions in real-world treatment settings and to study the use of what is now called the Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) treatment model. Developing and testing the treatment in real-world settings meant the interventions could be adopted quickly should they prove successful.The CSC models focused on working with young people as soon as possible after the first episode of psychosis. Each of the two CSC models used a team-based approach that combined medication, psychosocial therapies, family involvement, rehabilitation services, and supported employment/education. All of these services were aimed at reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. 

Dr. Lisa Dixon led one of the two RAISE research studies known as RAISE-Implementation and Evaluation Study (RAISE-IES). RAISE-IES was conducted in partnership with the Maryland and New York state mental health systems at two community clinics between June 2011 and December 2013. Under the direction of Dr. Dixon and with input from colleagues from across the country, RAISE Connection Program was the name of the CSC treatment model developed and tested as part of the overall RAISE-IES research study. CSC teams were trained and worked in clinics affiliated with the University of Maryland, School of Medicine in Baltimore and Columbia University Psychiatry in New York City. Early results from the RAISE-IES study support using the CSC team-based approach. The researchers found that symptoms of early psychosis decreased, school, work and social functioning improved, participation rates in program services were high, and young people reported feeling that their ideas and opinions were included as an integral part of the decision making process.

After the completion of the RAISE-IES study, faculty members from the University of Maryland, School of Medicine continued to provide an Early Intervention Team based on the RAISE-Connection Program model and continued to dedicate intensive treatment to young adults within the first two years of the onset of psychosis.


Please note that in some of our training and educational materials, we refer to RAISE or RAISE services. This refers to the Connection Program at the Carruthers Clinic and should not be confused with the larger NIMH RAISE research project.


For more information on the NIMH RAISE Research Project, please go to http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/raise/index.shtml.


1 The contracts, bolstered by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, were awarded to the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York (Contract No: HHSN-271-2009-00019C) and to the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene at Columbia University in New York City (Contract No: HHSN-271-2009-00020C).