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

EIP Initiatives

The  Maryland EIP offers four services to support individuals, families, and professionals who may encounter early psychosis:

  1. Outreach and Education Services – To behavioral health providers, schools, and primary care settings.

  2. Clinical Services – For 12-30-year-olds who present with clinical high risk symptoms that may be predictive of future psychosis, who have early signs of psychosis, or are in the initial stages of psychoses. Services include the Strive for Wellness Clinic, the MPRC First Episode Clinic (FEC), and the Division of Community Psychiatry’s RAISE Connection Program.

  3. Consultation Services – To providers regarding identification and treatment for individuals that may be experiencing symptoms that may be predictive of future psychosis, who have early signs of psychosis, or are in the initial stages of psychoses.

  4. Training and Implementation Support Services – Will establish Early Intervention Teams (EITs) throughout the state and create a learning collaborative so that EITs and others providing services to those with early psychosis can collaborate, share resources, and provide support and coordination of service delivery.

All EIP initiatives may be contacted through our toll free number or e-mail. A trained specialist is available to guide you toward the appropriate services. For more information on accessing services offered through the EIP, watch this short video.




Outreach & Education Services

The Outreach and Education arm of the Early Intervention Program is working to expand the reach of education and related informational resources to diverse stakeholders across Maryland.

Specific goals include:

  • Developing, tailoring, and expanding existing training materials to a broad array of audiences such as youth, families, K-12 schools, primary care, and behavioral health and disseminating training statewide

  • Developing and supporting infrastructure and procedures to receive and respond to requests for outreach and education related to the early identification and treatment of psychosis

  • Developing outreach and education materials in a range of formats (e.g., in-person, web-based, video, and written) Register for free online Maryland Early Intervention Program training.

The EIP team provides outreach and education to a variety of groups, such as:

School Personnel

The onset of serious mental illness, such as psychosis, often occurs between the ages of 12 and 25. Vulnerability to these illnesses may be inherited or acquired early in development, but they most often emerge in their full-blown form during adolescence or young adulthood. School staff members who see these young people every day may be able to notice changes that others might not.

The Maryland EIP helps schools by providing outreach and education to administration, staff, and teachers. Our interactive presentations offer information on understanding psychosis and recognizing the early warning signs. The presentations are designed to minimize stigma and reduce misinformation about mental illness. We also provide information on when to make a referral to the EIP.

Contact us for more information on how the EIP can be helpful in your school.

Behavioral Health Providers

Behavioral health providers can help people with psychosis by understanding the earliest signs illness and connecting individuals with appropriate evidence-based treatment. The symptom profile for early psychosis is complex, and early symptoms of psychosis can be easily misinterpreted as other illnesses such as mood disorders, substance use disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. We offer specialized training for behavioral health providers in identifying individuals at risk for or experiencing early psychosis. We also offer training in techniques (such as Shared Decision Making) that can be particularly helpful when working with individuals in the earliest stages of a mental illness with psychosis.

Expediting effective treatment could improve the lives of individuals experiencing early psychosis by reducing the duration of their untreated symptoms. Shorter duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is associated with improved functional outcomes and quality of life for individuals experiencing early psychosis. Individuals receiving effective treatment with a behavioral health provider are also less likely to have relapses or be hospitalized. Behavioral health providers can be equipped to 1) offer individuals and their families education about early psychosis, including common symptoms and strategies for coping; 2) effectively discuss treatment decisions, including medications, with individuals; 3) engage families in the treatment process; and 4) better understand and administer psychotropic medications, as appropriate.

The EIP also offers specialized training in co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders. Substance abuse is the most common co-occurring disorder in people with psychosis, but ordinary substance abuse treatment programs usually do not address this population's special needs. When mental health treatment programs and substance use treatment programs are used together, individuals get better results.

Behavioral Health Providers may also choose to refer individuals experiencing these symptoms for consultations or treatment. The EIP offers a variety of services such as clinical and consultation services, to behavioral health providers.

Contact us for more information on how the EIP can be helpful in your agency.

Primary Care Physicians

Primary care physicians (PCPs) commonly care for individuals presenting with a wide variety of symptoms. A PCP may be the first professional contacted when an individual experiences early symptoms of a mental illness with psychosis. By better understanding the clinical presentation at the earliest stages of psychosis, PCPs may play an integral role in identifying individuals and connecting them with effective treatment. PCPs may also help people with warning signs of psychosis get critical early treatment and education before these symptoms significantly disrupt their lives.

Individuals with a mental illness with psychosis have more comorbid medical conditions and higher mortality rates than patients without a serious mental illness. Many medications prescribed for serious mental illness have significant metabolic and cardiovascular adverse effects.

The EIP offers education in areas such as 1) methods for identifying the earliest symptoms of psychosis; 2) available evidence-based practices; 3) referral procedures for consultations and behavioral health treatment; 4) psychotropic medication management; and 5) comorbid medical conditions for individuals experiencing a mental illness with psychosis. The EIP also offers a variety of direct services, such as clinical and consultation services, to primary care physicians.

Contact us for more information on how the EIP can be helpful in your clinic.

Clinical Services

A growing body of research supports the beneficial effects of early treatment in the course of severe mental health concerns, such as psychosis. Early treatment provides hope for affording young people who are on a trajectory toward illness the possibility of leading lives of their choosing. Driven by youth and family input, our program is designed to identify young people at risk and provide them effective services to help them fulfill their own goals and aspirations.

Maryland EIP includes three center of excellence clinics and a network of partner clinics that specialize in the early diagnosis and treatment of psychosis:

Strive for Wellness Clinic

The Strive for Wellness Clinic, an early identification and intervention clinic, is aimed at identifying young people between the ages of 12 and 25 who are either in full psychosis or at high risk for becoming so, and getting them into immediate treatment. The program provides a continuum of care for those individuals, with clinicians available to provide assessment and offer treatment options. Additionally, the program staff work closely with schools, houses of worship, law enforcement, and other communities that come into contact with young people to promote public awareness and decrease stigma about mental illness. The hope is that the program will contribute to a better understanding of psychosis, what triggers it, and how to treat it.

MPRC First Episode Clinic

The MPRC First Episode Psychosis Clinic (FEC), an outpatient research clinic, is designed to address the needs of adolescents and young adults between the ages of 12 and 45 who have recently developed psychotic symptoms or illness. The purpose of the FEC is to work intensively with clients and their families to provide education about the illness, to provide medications and therapy, and to link patients with the resources they may need (housing, insurance, etc.). Transportation can be provided free of cost, based on a demonstrated need. The FEC is part of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC), which is part of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Watch this short video for more information on the First Episode Clinic and the early identification and treatment of psychosis. 

Click the following link for more information on Early Psychosis.

RAISE Connection Program

The Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) Connection Program seeks to fundamentally change the trajectory and prognosis of schizophrenia through coordinated and aggressive treatment in the earliest stages of illness. The RAISE Connection Program is designed to reduce the likelihood of long-term disability that people with schizophrenia often experience. It aims to help people with the disorder lead productive, independent lives by helping with recovery, empowerment, skills training, and personalized support.

Watch this short video for more information on the RAISE Connection Program and the early identification and treatment of psychosis. 

Click the following link for more information on Early Psychosis.

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

The Maryland Early Intervention Program Network

The Maryland Early Intervention Program Network is a group of providers participating in Maryland’s statewide effort to provide better services for individuals experiencing early psychosis.   Members of the Maryland EIP Network receive specialized training from the EIP and participate in supportive services through learning collaboratives hosted by EIP specialists. Members of the Maryland EIP Network offer a wide array of services for early psychosis.  Some partner clinics offer full coordinated specialty care services using the model developed through the RAISE-IES study.  Other clinics are trained to offer varying levels of services that are integrated with the Maryland EIP's consultation and treatment services.

For more information on members of the Maryland EIP Network, please click on the links for our partner clinics below.  

Johns Hopkins Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic/Maryland EIP (EPIC/EIP)

Baltimore, MD 


OnTrack Maryland at Family Services, Inc.

Gaithersburg, MD


Both teams are operational and are accepting referrals of young people with a mental illness with psychosis that have been identified within the last two years.
For more information on training or on becoming a member of the Maryland EIP Network/learning collaborative, please visit the Training and Implementation Support Services tab or contact Dr. Melanie Bennett, mbennett@psych.umaryland.edu 

If you have questions about which program might meet your needs, please contact our centralized service coordinator. A master’s level clinician will be available to meet your needs.

Watch a short presentation on what happens when you make a referral





Our assessments provide cutting edge evaluation of symptoms and concerns, as well as offer evidence-based recommendations for further monitoring and treatment. Our therapists provide care of the highest quality that is driven by client and family input. Our treatment model is informed by scientific research, and is flexible so that it can be specifically tailored to the individual needs of every individual with whom we work. We take a “bio-psych-social” perspective in our approach, considering biological, psychological, and social/environmental aspects of an individual and family in our care, so as to acknowledge the entire person. Individuals receiving care from our program can expect:

  • Therapists who are knowledgeable, empathic, and genuine in their desire to provide the best care possible

  • Care that is family/youth driven, and individually tailored to the client and family

  • An emphasis on helping clients/families understand their challenges in ways that might help with functioning and outcome

  • Top-notch assessments that are informed by a variety of perspectives and provide recommendations for treatment that are informed by evidence

  • Treatment strategies that help clients manage a variety of symptoms they find distressing or interfering Treatment strategies that strive towards helping clients/families reach their personal goals

  • Attention to concerns such as safety

  • Help with succeeding in school, work, and other social situations

  • Medication consultation

  • An emphasis on strengths and on wellness broadly defined

Consultation Services

The MPRC will serve as the primary consultation service center for statewide referrals.

Service Components:

  • The provision of 1 to 3 evaluation interviews per referral, and the issuance of a complete consultation report

  • The identification and recommendation of best intervention options

  • Risk assessment and recommendations

  • Optional annual follow-up evaluation, when appropriate

  • Assumption of care for complex cases at the request of the patient and his/her provider

  • Telephone and tele-consultation for providers and their patients from areas with difficulty to access to EIP clinics or lack of satellite sites (planned for future years)

  • Provides consultations on diagnosis, treatment recommendations, and school and family management 

Training & Implementation Support Services

Training and Implementation Support Services will be designed to provide training to teams of mental health treatment providers in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of clinical high risk and FEP and provide support for providers as they apply this training to their clinical care of young people. We aim to establish Early Intervention Teams (EITs) throughout the state, as well as create a learning collaborative so that EITs and others providing services to those with early psychosis can collaborate, share resources, and provide support and coordination of service delivery. These activities will provide assistance and resources to providers statewide and increase the overall competence of the state mental health system to service youth with early psychosis.

Activities of the Maryland EIP Training and Implementation Support Services include:

  1. Establish Early Intervention Teams throughout the state of Maryland.

  2. Train these teams in evidence-based interventions for youth with early psychosis including: (1) providing psycho-education about early psychosis; (2) assessing and diagnosing early psychosis; (3) prescribing and management of recommended pharmacological treatments; (4) engaging young people and their families in care; (5) implementing evidence-based practices for improving social functioning, reducing substance abuse; (6) re-engaging in work or school or pursuing new educational/work opportunities; (7) working with families; (8) assessing and planning for safety; (9) using supported education and employment geared towards young adults; and (10) providing care within a model of mental health recovery.

  3. Support ongoing training of teams via the existing infrastructure of the Evidence Based Practice Center (EBPC), located within the Division of Services Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; the EBPC was established in 2001 by the Mental Hygiene Administration to distribute research-based information on mental health treatment to stakeholders in the State of Maryland’s public mental health system, and to promote adoption and implementation of those practices through ongoing training and consultation.

  4. Create learning opportunities for teams and others providing services to those with early psychosis to support collaboration, sharing of resources, and coordination of service delivery.

Register for free online Maryland Early Intervention Program training