RAISE Schizophrenia Program No. 1 on NIMH Top 10 List of 2014

December 22, 2014

RAISE—Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode—is a new therapeutic model to address the needs of people in the early stages of schizophrenia. Columbia has played an important role in studying RAISE, and now the RAISE research project heads the National Institute of Mental Health director’s top 10 list of notable achievements in 2014.

Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and NIMH, RAISE was designed to prevent the deterioration in function that often accompanies a schizophrenia diagnosis.

NIMH director Dr. Tom Insel called RAISE “a spectacular example of how to move research into practice in months instead of years.” NIMH funded two RAISE research projects, and data from the implementation study led by researchers at Columbia Psychiatry in partnership with the New York State Office of Mental Health “convinced Congress to provide funding to states to move ahead with program dissemination in 2014.” Dr. Insel estimates that RAISE-inspired programs, called Collaborative Specialty Care, will be available in at least 29 states by October 2015.

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 CUMC, said, “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 we can see what services people actually use and find helpful and produce a roadmap that we can work with OMH to implement statewide. We are thrilled that this congressional stimulus is letting us facilitate implementation of this model in New York State and beyond.”

Study findings suggest that youth and young adults with early psychosis who participate in the RAISE Connection Program had very high rates of engagement in treatment, significantly improved rates of school and work participation, and increased rates of remission. The findings have informed the OnTrackNY clinical program, which extends RAISE’s impact and reach, providing recovery-oriented individualized care to young people experiencing the early phases of schizophrenia. The program works with families and other supporters to help patients achieve their personal and professional goals—to stay “on track.”

Dr. Insel’s Best of 2014 list: http://1.usa.gov/1r0rCWp.