The First Episode Clinic (FEC) at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC) is the first specialty clinic for treating early phase, first episode psychosis in the State of Maryland. For the past 15 years, the clinic has offered comprehensive, specialty care for individuals suffering from first episode psychosis

Our service can be summarized in two primary areas:

  • The FEC provides expert clinical services for treating adolescents and young adults experiencing first psychosis and their follow-up care in the first few years after the initial psychosis.
  • The FEC provides consultation on diagnosis, treatment options, and management approaches for patients referred from clinicians, psychiatrists, schools, colleges, and families from across the state and occasionally from other states.

For clinical service, the primary strategy is to provide the best and well-informed psychiatric care for severe mentally ill patients, a principle the MPRC has led in both research and clinical practice in the past 30 years.

The FEC implements two evidence-based strategies for the care of patients with a first episode of psychosis.

  • Early recognition and early treatment. In recent years, the field has reached a consensus that the duration of untreated psychosis is negatively correlated with good outcome and recovery. Therefore, the FEC engages schools, colleges, and other providers to help promote early identification and referral of first episode cases. The FEC also offers swift access to our care, for example by providing initial transportation for free. These and many other approaches are intended to minimize the duration of untreated psychosis and to increase the chance of our patients’ full recovery.
  • Comprehensive treatment. Evidence has unequivocally showed that, once a full psychosis is diagnosed, appropriate pharmacology is the cornerstone of the treatment for symptom control and for recovery of functioning. In addition, several critical therapeutic approaches are also indispensible, including family therapy and psychoeducation, supported employment and education, individual and group therapy, and assertive case management.