North Carolina’s Model of Care for Early Psychosis Recovery

Borrowed from Europe’s OPUS and Australia’s EPPIC programs, and then innovated upon, North Carolina’s CSC model has been in operation since 2005. Core components of the NC model of CSC include:

Family Therapy and Support Services:

Families and other concerned significant others of individuals with early psychosis are often times as troubled by the symptoms of psychosis as are the individuals at the center of services. Traditional treatment for psychosis rarely involves family and friends, often times reserving for discharge planning from hospitalizations. With licensed family therapists, NC’s model integrates support and education for family and friends and proven therapies to help resolve relationship distress. We know that everyone lives in the context of those most important to them, and recovery works better with secure family bonds.

Medical Management of Psychotic Problems and Co-occurring issues:

We know now that medical care is an essential part of treating early psychosis, which includes integrative health care.  NC’s model for CSC includes licensed psychiatric medical providers who deliver evidence-based medication management, lifestyles and health counseling, and medical management of co-occurring issues such as anxiety and depression, weight problems, tobacco use, substance and alcohol dependency, nutritional deficits, fatigue, and sleep problems. We know that for a healthy mind, we must have a healthy body, and medical care that attends to the needs of the body.

Individual & Group Therapies with integrated Substance Use Counseling:

For the individuals at the center of care, early psychosis recovery is a process requiring the option for private support to help make sense of what has happened, order their experience, and rebuild a narrative that includes a sense of autonomy, competency, and belonging. NC’s CSC model includes licensed psychotherapists who are trained to deliver evidence-based approaches to psychotherapy and addiction counseling including Client-Centered Therapies, Solution-Focused Therapies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, Motivational Interviewing, Individual Resiliency Training, Social Skills Training, and Relapse Prevention Therapies.

Additional components include:

  • Vocation Support Services – Returning to school and/or developing meaningful work is part of becoming an adult and recovering from any condition.  Some NC CSC programs have specialists dedicated to assisting individuals with school or work, while other programs integrate these functions into the individual therapy.
  • Peer Socialization and Support Programming – Developing an identity outside of the family of origin through peer interaction and peer learning is an important part of adolescence and young adulthood, and early psychosis can interrupt this. Some NC CSC programs have peer specialists (individuals who are in recovery from psychosis themselves) dedicated to assist individuals recover their social lives, while other programs provide programming that encourages development of social recovery through guided community activities.
  • Case Management – For services beyond the scope of CSC programs, some times additional referrals have to be made elsewhere, and this can be challenging for individuals and their families to manage.  All NC CSC program integrate case management into the individual therapy .

As with other models of CSC, NC’s CSC programs are “One-Stop Shops,” where all care is provided under the same roof, eliminating confusion and coordination problems more often found when seeing multiple providers in the community.

To access Coordinated Specialty Care, please see our page on NC CSC Programs

To access Technical Assistance Services, please see our page on Technical Assistance

To access training on CSC and/or Early Psychosis, please see our pages on Continuing Education and Clinical Support