Phoenix Program for Early Episode Psychosis
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 wrap-around 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.
- Parent/Caregiver Night – a monthly group for parents, caregivers, and other family members of youth in the Phoenix program to connect, share experiences, and offer/receive support.
- 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.
- Peer support/peer specialist – connection with someone in the community also recovering from mental health challenges with the goal of engaging in social activities of shared interest.
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 above) for less than two years
- Be willing to participate in at least three components of the program (individual therapy, psychiatry (medication is not mandatory), and one other component)