Recently, the University of Washington’s Division of Public Behavioral Health and Justice Policy (PBHJP), along with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services’ Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) spearheaded a “Kick Off” event for two new Demonstration Sites to the New Journeys Network. New Journeys is the name for Washington State’s transdisciplinary team-based approach to treating adolescents and young adults experiencing symptoms of first episode psychosis (FEP). The new pilot sites will be implemented at Valley Cities Behavioral Health Care, from the King County Behavioral Health Organization (BHO) and Behavioral Health Resources, from the Thurston/Mason BHO. These new sites join Comprehensive Healthcare of Yakima, Washington, the state’s original New Journeys team established in July, 2015.
The New Journeys Kick Off was followed by a Preconference Symposium on Washington’s Early Psychosis Initiative, led by the Washington Council for Behavioral Health. The goals of the symposium were to: 1) achieve an understanding that it is possible to prevent and/or positively impact psychotic disorder trajectories to prevent lifelong disability, 2) deliver a statewide update about early intervention for psychosis in Washington and 3) build momentum towards a systematic implementation plan throughout the state. Dr. Lisa Dixon, the Principal Investigator on the NIMH-funded RAISE Connections study, delivered the keynote address for both events.