Four Summit County agencies have come together to form C-CAN, a collaborative effort to deliver treatment for individuals between the ages of 10-25 at high risk to develop psychosis. Funded by a $1.35 million grant awarded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through the County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services Board (ADM Board), the initiative includes Child Guidance & Family Solutions (CG&FS), Community Support Services (CSS), and Northeast Ohio Medical University’s Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (NEOMED, BeST) Center, a collaborative referenced as C-CAN. These agencies bring over 160 years of combined mental health expertise. SAMHSA awarded grants to only 21 entities nationwide for this initiative.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to advance the prevention revolution in mental healthcare by stepping in early to improve the overall health and wellness of individuals experiencing mental health symptoms. To do this we will utilize the distinct strengths of each of the four participating agencies, build mental health literacy in Summit County, identify persons who have a high risk for psychosis, and provide early intervention treatment,” said Hattie Tracy, Senior Director of Clinical Strategy, Community Outreach and Healthcare Integration at CG&FS. “This complex challenge requires different specializations: individual and family counseling, case management, and employment and education support.”
C-CAN will provide training and resources to local physicians, hospitals, care facilities and schools to assist in identifying children, teens and young adults who exhibit early signs of being at high risk for psychosis, so that they can be referred to CG&FS for preventative treatment. Individuals enrolled in C-CAN’s stepped-care treatment program will receive a full range of services intended to reduce the risk of conversion to a psychotic disorder. Research shows that this type of intervention and treatment significantly reduces the conversion rate to psychosis. “The partner organizations for this grant have been working together since 2009 to coordinate specialty care of early psychosis treatment, thus additional funding will enhance their work and improve outcomes”, remarked Jerry Craig, Executive Director of the ADM Board.
It is estimated that in Summit County 1,040 individuals ages 10-25 are at high risk for psychosis, 208 of whom are likely to develop psychotic symptoms. Research shows that there is a one- to two-year period preceding the development of psychosis in which people begin to experience moderate psychotic symptoms and their social interactions start to decline. C-CAN is intended to identify those who are exhibiting the early signs of being at clinical high risk for psychosis and facilitate preventative treatment.