Emergence Awarded Grant for ‘First Episode Psychosis Community of Practice’ Program

Officials with Emergence Health Network  announced Monday their selection into the National Council for Behavioral Health First Episode Psychosis Community of Practice program.

“We are very excited about this opportunity. This designation will allow EHN to participate on a national level in educating communities across the country on the importance of early detection and treatment of mental illness,” says Kristi Daugherty, Emergence Health Network CEO. The opportunity allows EHN staff to work directly with National Council to enhance the Mental Health First Aid curriculum through the inclusion of a First Episode Psychosis section.

“This is important because many people don’t realize that the onset of a mental illness usually happens in the adolescent years or young adulthood. Early treatment, as with any health condition, is vital,” says Daugherty.

First episode psychosis refers to the first time an individual experiences psychotic symptoms or conditions that affect the mind. This typically occurs between the ages of 16 and 25, yet it is common for a person to have the symptoms for several months, sometimes more than a year before seeking treatment. However, reducing the time of untreated mental illness is important for a better recovery.

The current Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training course introduces it participants to the warning signs of mental illness and teaches them the skills needed to help stabilize a person in crisis until they can connect with a mental health professional.

Just as CPR training helps a layperson with no clinical background assist a person having a heart attack. “MHFA training will be taken to the next level to improve the metal health of our residents and individuals in other communities,” added Daugherty.

“The feedback EHN provides to the National Council for Behavioral Health as part of this pilot program will be used to develop the MHFA curriculum used nationally. We are proud to be a part of such significant developments.”

MHFA training is free to the El Paso community. For more information, visit Emergence online and click on the mental health tab or email mhfa@ehnelpaso.org