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Northwestern MedicineNorthwestern Medicine Recovery from Early Psychosis Program (REPP)

Early intervention and holistic care in psychosis treatment improve patient outcomes through Northwestern Medicine’s innovative Recovery from Early Psychosis Program (REPP), emphasizing comprehensive, patient-centered approaches and peer support.

Dr. (Yu) Jenny Zhang, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern Medicine, discusses the Recovery from Early Psychosis Program (REPP) on the Better Edge podcast. This program targets young adults aged 18-26 experiencing significant psychosis symptoms. By utilizing a multidisciplinary and holistic approach, REPP provides comprehensive care beyond medication management, focusing on functional assessments, therapy groups, and peer support to help patients lead fulfilling lives.

Key Points:

  • Target Age Group: REPP focuses on patients aged 18-26 experiencing psychosis.
  • Holistic Approach: The program emphasizes a ‘whole person’ approach, integrating medication, functional assessments, therapy groups, and peer support.
  • Importance of Early Intervention: Early treatment improves functional outcomes, reducing long-term disability risks.
  • Signs of Psychosis: Indicators include responding to internal stimuli, paranoia, and significant thought blocking.
  • Multidisciplinary Care: The team includes psychiatrists, occupational therapists, individual and group therapists, and peer support leaders.
  • Peer Support: Involving individuals with lived experience in therapy sessions to offer relatable support.
  • Comprehensive Services: Includes medication management, various therapies, family therapy, vocational counseling, and diverse peer-based groups.
  • Program Growth: Aims to expand services and staff, enhance quality through research, and collaborate with national programs.
  • Challenges in the US: Early intervention programs like REPP are not the standard of care, often relying on donor funding.
  • Future Aspirations: REPP seeks to become a standard of care, emphasizing early, comprehensive treatment to prevent disability.

“It really wasn’t until REPP that I came to see how function in these different areas of life can be preserved or restored with early intervention. It was very meaningful to be part of this as a resident and in many ways the whole person approach that REP takes with its participants has shaped the way I work with patients.”
— (Yu) Jenny Zhang, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

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