Phoenix Program for Early Episode Psychosis
The Emerson St. building is currently closed for repairs, and we are still providing services online and in the community. For information about Emerson St.'s classes and groups, please see our calender. For any questions, we invite you to call us at (303) 504-3988.
About the Phoenix Program
The Phoenix Program at Emerson St. for Teens and Young Adults is dedicated to serving youth in the Denver area ages 15 to 26 who are experiencing first or early episode psychosis. The Phoenix Program was established at Emerson St. for Teens and Young Adults because typical onset of psychosis symptoms is in the late teens/early 20s.
Phoenix is comprised of a coordinated specialty care team including a primary Phoenix therapist, family psychoeducation providers, medical providers, a case manager and supported education and supported employment specialists.
The program aims to support youth with wraparound care to address a diverse range of needs to instill hope, increase positive community engagement and connection and manage psychosis symptoms to improve outcomes over time. Phoenix uses an adapted version of the RAISE Model, or Recovery After Initial Schizophrenia Episode and evidence-based practices for treating early episode psychosis.
Evidence suggests that intervention at this stage supports overall outcomes, reduces damage to the brain from repeated acute episodes of psychosis and strengthens youths’ current support systems (families, schools, etc.).
Potential treatment outcomes from engagement with Phoenix include:
- Increased coping skills and practice in managing psychotic symptoms
- Recovery-oriented path towards meeting personal goals
- Greater understanding of mental health condition
- Securing a job and/or educational opportunities
Youth in the Phoenix Program get:
- Regular therapy and psychoeducation with our Phoenix therapist to learn about psychosis, explore treatment goals and manage symptoms. The Phoenix therapist collaborates with the treatment team (including outside providers like hospitals or probation officers) and connects the person with additional services as needed.
- Psychiatry services. Phoenix youth meet regularly with a medical provider to discuss medication options for treatment of psychosis and to monitor medication over time to find the best fit. Medication is not a requirement for Phoenix involvement.
- Case management services as needed to assist with meeting basic needs like access to food, housing, medical and dental care, etc.
- Family psychoeducation with an additional Emerson St. therapist. The young person’s identified family members and/or caregivers meet with this therapist to learn more about psychosis and learn how to better support the youth from the family perspective.
- Supported education and/or supported employment services to help Phoenix youth find or maintain a job and/or be successful with high school, college or other educational pursuits.
- Multidisciplinary team attention at a weekly staff meeting. During this meeting, staff coordinate care for the youth in Phoenix with emphasis on cultivating stability and autonomy, as well as targeting personalized goals.
- Emerson St. Prevention groups – youth in the Phoenix Program are able to attend all offered prevention level groups at Emerson St.; these are great chances for youth to build social skills, engage in fun activities and get out into the community.
Phoenix Program Requirements
Youth in the Phoenix program should:
- Be between the ages of 15-26
- Live in Denver County
- Have experienced symptoms of psychosis (see below under "What is Psychosis") for less than two years
- Be willing to participate in at least three components of the program
- Individual therapy
- Psychiatry (medication is not mandatory
- Supported Employment
- Supported Education
- Family Psychoeducation and/or Family Therapy
- Regular Engagement in Groups
- Peer Support
Note: The Phoenix Program will prioritize Medicaid referrals, and will also accept all referrals based on our program's capacity.