Eskenazi Health to Double Size of Groundbreaking Early Psychosis Center

CONTACT: Todd Harper
Phone: 317.880.4785
Pager: 317.310.5972 

Indianapolis, Nov. 3, 2014 – A grant from the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will allow Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health to double the size of its groundbreaking early psychosis center.

The Eskenazi Health Midtown Prevention and Recovery Center for Early Psychosis (PARC), which serves as Indiana’s first center for clinical, research and educational advancement in the treatment of individuals in the early stages of schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses, received a $427,000 grant as part of the Block Grant for Community Mental Health Services from SAMHSA that was awarded to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). The center opened in 2009 and is located at the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital.

SAMHSA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

"This additional support will allow us to greatly expand our outreach by providing the staff and resources for us to serve additional patients," said Dr. Alan Breier, director of Eskenazi Health Midtown PARC and senior professor of psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine. "Our clinically specialized team is patient centered with a focus on early prevention and recovery."

The center provides groundbreaking testing to diagnose psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. With early, intense treatment, patients can potentially avoid some of the negative outcomes associated with the disease. Multiple treatment approaches are used to complement the use of medication, including psychotherapy, case management services, counseling, education andcrisis intervention. The center works closely with patients and their families in order to provide tailored approaches to suit the needs of the patient. The clinic cares for more than 120 patients and, in its five years, has seen more than 500 patients.

"We work to encourage family and social involvement, as well as educational and work pursuits that allow for individuals to enhance their quality of life," said Margie Payne, CEO of Eskenazi Health Midtown and vice president of mental health operations at Eskenazi Health. "This grant will allow us to treat a greater number of patients with the care and dignity that they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating, exercise and preventing negative events such as in smoking and substance abuse."

Schizophrenia is a severe brain disorder, and, although its direct cause is unknown, both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of the disease. Some common symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, lack of emotional expressiveness and social withdrawal.

Dr. Breier said schizophrenia can develop into a serious, life-long illness. Individuals with schizophrenia may cope with life-disrupting symptoms that lead to hospitalization, social isolation, substance abuse and even suicide.

"However, research shows that the earlier people receive effective treatment, the better their chances of avoiding these negative outcomes," Dr. Breier explained.
Eskenazi Health Midtown PARC, which has a strong partnership with the Department of Psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine, provides treatment to patients ages 14-35 who have had the onset of psychotic symptoms within the past two years. Patients will receive a comprehensive clinical assessment and may choose to participate in treatment or be referred to a local mental-health provider. For more information about Eskenazi Health Midtown PARC, please call 317.880.8494.