By Larry Seidman.
Unexpectedly and far too young, Larry died on September 7th, 2017. His scientific, clinical and humanitarian legacy is enormous; it is no surprise Larry laid firm foundations for an important and exciting conference in Boston, October 7-10, 2018.
Before his passing, Larry wrote this reflection on the Second Annual Massachusetts Mental Health Center Conference, highlighting the role of USA’s growing national effort to develop evidence-based first episode psychosis services.
On Friday, June 16, 2017, Larry Seidman –Conference Convenor for IEPA 11 – and his colleagues directed the Second Annual Massachusetts Mental Health Center Conference, held by the Massachusetts Psychosis Network for Early Treatment. The conference was held in Boston, where next year’s IEPA International Conference on Early Intervention will be.
Here, Larry reflects on the symposium and his highlight of the day.
This one-day symposium brought together 110 mental health experts from around Massachusetts to provide state-of-the-art reviews on the rationale and approaches to early intervention in psychotic disorders. Speakers included faculty from many of the nine educational and clinical programs dedicated to providing Early Psychosis intervention in Massachusetts. The symposium was attended by consumers, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses and other mental health professionals, as well as students.
One particular high point of the conference was a riveting presentation from a young man who has recovered from psychosis and described his experience in an article in the Asian Journal of Psychiatry. Andrew’s talk gave clear insight into the nature of his psychosis, what worked for him and what didn’t. His recovery and ability to tell his story was inspiring.
Massachusetts Psychosis Network for Early Treatment (MAPNET), which is supported by a federal grant to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, has helped support some clinical services in these programs, and supports a technical assistance center on first episode psychosis treatments to the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, led by Drs. Keshavan, Kline, Sandoval, and Seidman. This effort is part of the growing national effort to develop evidence-based first episode psychosis services in the United States.