Early Assessment and Support Alliance
Creating Opportunities for Young People who have Experienced Psychosis
Are you or someone you know...
Seeing or hearing things that other people don't, like shadows in the corner of your eyes?
Having unusual thoughts, like experiencing the TV, Internet, or music sending you special messages?
Having a lot more energy than usual and racing thoughts, so much that you can't sleep for days?
Are these things bothering you or causing you to be concerned?
You may be experiencing symptoms of psychosis. Psychosis is a lot more common than you think. You are not alone.
The Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA) can help. EASA provides information and support to young people experiencing symptoms of psychosis for the first time.
Early Intervention Leads to Greater Success
Psychosis is a common brain condition which, if untreated, prevents the person from being able to know what is real and what is not. Without help, young people with psychosis are at risk of school dropout, loss of social support, poverty, and more.
3 in 100 INDIVIDUALS DEVELOP PSYCHOSIS, USUALLY BETWEEN AGES 12 TO 25.
Early symptoms are often subtle but can be the most disabling. They affect young people's ability to complete schoolwork, interact socially, and accomplish daily tasks. With early intervention and appropriate support, most risks can be avoided and help young people lead successful lives.
What is EASA?
- Training and consultation for organizations and individuals
- Outreach, specialized assessment, and linkages to appropriate care
- Coaching to understand changes and help the young person succeed in school and elsewhere
- For youth with ongoing symptoms not best treated elsewhere, an intensive two-year transitional program from a local team. Our team includes a medical professional, counselor, occupational therapist, school/work specialist, peer support, and case management.
- Family groups and peer support opportunities where people come together to learn relevant information and skills and to support each other
EASA is about continually improving the way Oregon responds to early symptoms of psychosis. The EASA Center of Excellence and its partners work at local, state, and national levels to learn from emerging research and the experiences of EASA participants.
For more information, visit the EASA Website.
Who Should I Refer?
If a young person (age 12-25 and living in Wallowa County) is having, new, significant, and worsening difficulties in several of the following areas, call 541-398-0112 for a consultation:
- Extreme fear for no apparent reason
- Uncharacteristic and bizarre actions or statements
- Impulsive and reckless behavior (e.g. giving away all belongings)
- Dramatic changes in eating behavior
- New, bizarre beliefs
- Extreme social withdrawal
- The decline in appearance and hygiene
- Dramatic changes in sleep (e.g. sleeping almost not at all or all the time)
- Trouble reading or understanding complex sentences
- Becoming easily confused or lost
- Trouble speaking or understanding what others are saying
- Attendance problems related to sleep or fearfulness
- Trouble in sports or other activities that used to be easy (example can not dribble a basketball or pass to team member)
- Fear that others are trying to hurt them
- Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touches
- Making statements like "my brain is playing tricks on me"
- Hearing voices or other sounds that others do not
- Reporting visual changes (e.g. colors more intense, face distorted, lines turned wavy)
- Feeling like someone else is putting thoughts into their brain or that others are reading their thoughts
Other guidelines to note: no more than 12 months since diagnosed with a major psychotic disorder, if applicable; symptoms not known to be caused by a medical condition or drug use; and, IQ over 70 or not already receiving developmental disability services.
You Can Make a Difference
"In the beginning, it’s fearful, not understanding…the first aspect of EASA is that they stepped up, gave me some background and what steps to take, what is going on that was a tremendous help and difference."
- Anonymous parent
The Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA) team identifies youth with symptoms of psychosis as early as possible and provides the most effective support and treatment so they can be successful. Yet, we can not do that without your support. Early referral is key.
Talk to parents or other family members about what you observe.
Anyone can refer to EASA or can call for an anonymous consultation. EASA can meet with the family at school, home, or any other location.
EASA services are available without regard to the ability to pay. No one will be denied clinical services because of an inability to pay. Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, retaliation, sex (includes pregnancy-related conditions), or association with a protected class. Language services, interpreters, or other assistive aids are available at no cost.
Meet the EASA Team
Carrise Murray, EASA Program Coordinator
Andi Mitchell, Case Manager