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Central Oregon Mental Health Program Takes Aim at early Psychosis


It's a local prevention program that trie to get to the root problem very early on with people who may suffer from serious psychosis later in life.


Dealing with mental health issues early on- before things escalate into random shootings and other violence is a big topic in the aftermath of the deadly school shooting in Connecticut.  The local program is availalbe to people aged 15 to 27 in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook Counties.  


Clinical Coordinator Katie Hayden-Lewis says people can ask for help if they see warning signs in family members, friends or themselves.


She was a recent guest on 1110 KBND's Your Town and talked about some of the red flags they watch for.

 "a YOUNG PErson WHO SEEMS AFRAID FOR NO REASON - look for UNUSUAL BEHAVIORS- saying things OUT OF CONTEXT - saying their MIND is PLAYING TRICKS ON THEM...SEEING OR HEARING THINGS that others don't see, a CHANGe IN SPEECH like dropping words, they tend to ISOLATE MORE, they are bothered by how they are feeling so they go off by themselves, THEY just DON'T FEEL GOOD."
Hayden-Lewis says their data shows that the "Easly Assessment and Support Alliance" or EASA program has reduced the likelihood of hospitalization.  It's a family centered program this is part of a statewide effort that is unique to Oregon. It started in Salem as a pilot and when it became successful lawmakers agreed to fund it in 18 counties across Oregon.
She says while the program works, sometimes it's tough for people to take the first step and get the mental health they need.

THE LARGEST CHALLENGE IS STIGMA -against young people that struggle- i think we I THINK WE have a lot of high expectations for our young people to become independent too early- i think with mental health some people feel overly vulernable or ashamed."
If you'd like more information on the program the website is: www.easacommunity.org.
Her entire interview is located on this website under the Podcast icon.


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