Comprehensive coordinated specialty care programs for first-episode psychosis have been widely implemented in other countries but not in the United States. The National Institute of Mental Health's Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) initiative focused on the development and evaluation of first-episode treatment programs designed for the U.S. health care system. This article describes the background, rationale, and nature of the intervention developed by the RAISE Early Treatment Program project - known as the NAVIGATE program - with a particular focus on its psychosocial components. NAVIGATE is a team-based, multicomponent treatment program designed to be implemented in routine mental health treatment settings and aimed at guiding people with a first episode of psychosis (and their families) toward psychological and functional health. The core services provided in the NAVIGATE program include the family education program (FEP), individual resiliency training (IRT), supported employment and education (SEE), and individualized medication treatment. NAVIGATE embraces a shared decision-making approach with a focus on strengths and resiliency and on collaboration with clients and family members in treatment planning and reviews. The NAVIGATE program has the potential to fill an important gap in the U.S. health care system by providing a comprehensive intervention specially designed to meet the unique treatment needs of persons recovering from a first episode of psychosis. A cluster-randomized controlled trial comparing NAVIGATE with usual community care has recently been completed.
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