September 7, 2018

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By Emily Kline, Ph.D. and Kate Hardy, Clin.Psy.D.

The upcoming IEPA 11 International Conference on Early Intervention in Mental Health in Boston, USA this year has created excitement within the United States early intervention community. Despite centers of excellence in the United States such as Portland Identification and Early Referral (PIER) Program and the Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA) that have been involved in pioneering work in early psychosis, the country has lagged behind other parts of the world in implementing a widespread model of early intervention in severe mental illness. However, that changed in 2015 when each state received a budget increase that was set aside for creating specialized resources for first episode psychosis (FEP) treatment. FEP services soon spread across the country, and interest in improving both access to and quality of early intervention has grown remarkably.

Dr. Larry Seidman had originally championed bringing IEPA to Boston, and in the summer of 2017 he had the idea of convening a pre-conference that would focus on FEP care in the United States – the first national meeting on this topic. The intent of this pre-conference is to bring together stakeholders from across the country to support discussion around innovative early psychosis care.  His idea was enthusiastically supported by leaders at the National Institute of Mental Health (Drs. Robert Heinssen and Susan Azrin), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Dr. Gary Blau), and the Prodrome and Early Psychosis Program Network (PEPPNET; Drs. Kate Hardy and Steven Adelsheim). Since I (Dr. Emily Kline) serve as the project director for our state-wide FEP technical assistance center, Larry asked me to work with him to plan this event. When Larry died unexpectedly just weeks after our initial conversation, we agreed to make the meeting a success in his memory.

The meeting, called “Advancing Early Psychosis Care in the United States: Innovations from the Field” is an official IEPA 11 pre-conference event and will be held at the Westin Copley hotel in Boston on Sunday, October 7, 2018. Our diverse group of speakers includes clinical experts, mental health policy leaders, and people who themselves have experienced psychosis and recovery. These presenters will address themes such as identifying the core components of FEP coordinated specialty care; keeping clients, families, and communities engaged in FEP treatment; and ensuring that physicians, therapists, employment specialists, peer advocates, and administrators learn to work as a team. At the end of the meeting, an international panel including IEPA leaders, Professors Patrick McGorry, Jean Addington, and Merete Nordentoft, will offer their ideas about new directions for the U.S. and international early intervention movements. At the time of publication, nearly 200 people from across the country have already registered to attend this meeting. We are looking forward to bringing the U.S. FEP community into one room, where we will have the opportunity to share information, learn about new initiatives, and plan our next steps.

To attend this IEPA 11 pre-conference event, please visit Eventbrite.

To hear more about PEPNETT and early intervention developments in the USA, register for IEPA 11.

Generous support for this meeting has been provided by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Psychiatry Continuing Education Program, a Division of Harvard Medical School.

About Dr. Emily Kline:

Dr. Kline is an instructor of psychology in the department of psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. She is the project director of the Massachusetts Psychosis Network for Early Treatment (MAPNET), a first episode psychosis technical assistance center. For more about MAPNET, please visit:

About Dr. Kate Hardy:

Dr. Hardy is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. She is the Director of the INSPIRE clinic and co-leads the Prodrome and Early Psychosis Program Network with Dr. Steven Adelsheim.

Prodrome and Early Psychosis Network (PEPPNET) is a national network of individuals from diverse backgrounds supporting the development, and dissemination, of evidence-based interventions for early psychosis. Membership is free and more information can be found at: