Young Adults and Early Intervention

Posted on April 4, 2012
Many, if not most, mental illnesses manifest during adolescence and young adulthood. Fountain House has had a longstanding interest in reaching out to young adults who are experiencing the onset of illness.  Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH, recently wrote an article for the New York State Office of Mental Health website detailing the importance of early intervention, as well as some of the challenges that must be addressed before we can enjoy the great promise that this approach holds. She writes:

"Early intervention in the treatment and possible prevention of serious mental illnesses, including psychotic illness, is both an exciting possibility and imperative for our mental health system. Research has demonstrated that many, if not most, persistent mental illnesses start in childhood or adolescence. Knowing that illness comes so early in life underscores the need for, and opportunities of intervening as soon as possible with accessible and high quality services. The result can be reduced disability and improved quality of life over a lifetime."

"Biological, psychological and social functioning research suggests that early identification and intervention can reduce illness severity and the disability that follows...While many of these studies require replication, they offer hope and pathways for treatment leading to the meaningful improvement of lives."

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Dr. Dixon, currently a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, will soon be working on a first break initiative for the New York State Office of Mental Health. We’re thrilled that she’s coming to visit Fountain House and hopeful that we’ll find a way to work together to advance this exciting new venture.

Kenneth Dudek
President, Fountain House



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