Mindmap Promotes Early Detection of Psychosis Across Connecticut and Beyond

Mindmap at their table at the NAMI walk event during mental health month speaking to individuals about early detection of psychosis

As May is Mental Health Month, Mindmap actively joined others to spread mental health awareness, specifically focusing on the early detection of psychosis. Since psychosis is treatable, the earlier people receive help, the better the outcomes. Therefore, recovery from psychosis becomes the expectation rather than the exception for those who receive treatment.

Taking Steps Forward with NAMIWalks

NAMIwalks are designed to fuel awareness around mental health and raise funds for NAMI’s mission. For this year’s Mental Health Month walk, we gathered a team of advocates to join us in spreading awareness about the importance of early detection.

On May 18th, Attorney General Tong spoke at the National Alliance for Mental Illness walk emphasizing the importance of continued advocacy around mental health in Connecticut. Additionally, Mindmap joined approximately 30 other groups to raise awareness and show support.

Spending World Schizophrenia Day with Connecticut's Morning Buzz

According to the World Health Organization, about 1 in 300 people are affected by schizophrenia. World Schizophrenia Day, observed on May 24th, aims to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding schizophrenia. By encouraging education, support, and understanding, the day seeks to improve the lives of those impacted by this disorder.

On World Schizophrenia Day, we had the pleasure of appearing on the WTNH studio on Connecticut’s Morning Buzz segment.  STEP Learning Collaborative Director Laura Yoviene Sykes, PhD and Rushford Center’s Medical Director Dr. Craig Allen were interviewed by Host Natasha Lubczenko on the Mindmap initiative. Rushford is one of the Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs) providing care to those who use our referral line. Therefore, Dr. Allen was able to speak about what happens once we refer individuals to care.

“Mindmap is a public awareness campaign focused on the early detection and treatment of schizophrenia,” said Dr. Sykes. “It uses social media ads, news pieces, and billboards to get the word out, helping people understand what psychosis and schizophrenia are. Especially the message that help is available.”

Laura highlighted that Connecticut sees about 500 new cases of schizophrenia each year. Therefore, it is very important to get these individuals into quality care as quickly as possible.

Mindmap Connects With The SPIRIT Lab

Mindmap and SPIRIT Lab collaboration group photo

On May 16-17, Mindmap visited the SPIRIT (Supporting Psychosis Innovation through Research, Implementation, & Training) Lab at the University of Washington.

During our visit, we shared lessons about how best to detect and care for early course schizophrenia and explored collaborations. STEP is honored to count SPIRIT as a partner in our shared mission of enhancing the capabilities of all emerging adults with schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

Mindmap in the Community

Mindmap table set up at the Southeastern Mental Health Authorities (SMHA) Mental Health Day
On May 15th, Mindmap attended Southeastern Mental Health Authorities (SMHA) Mental Health Day and helped educate folks about psychosis and spread the word about Mindmap. SMHA is one of the Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs) providing care to those who use our referral line. 
Mindmap team members Nina Levine, Philip Markovich, and Deepa Purushothaman at the Wilbur Cross High School OneStep event

Mindmap team members Nina Levine, Philip Markovich, and Deepa Purushothaman had fun educating high schoolers about common myths of psychosis at the “Get Involved Fair,” hosted by OneStep, a student-led organization, Wednesday, May 22nd at Wilbur Cross High School.

Upcoming Events

We’re kicking off the summer with more early detection outreach across Connecticut. Hope to see you at one of our upcoming events.

Firstly, if you regularly interact with young individuals, then we highly recommend attending our family & community workshops. Our next workshop will be on how to improve communication with an individual experiencing psychosis. To clarify, everyone is welcome to join. Register through the link below.

June 20thStrategies for Carers Pt 1 – Importance of Carers and Communication Skills

*Schedule subject to change. 1 Free Yale CME/Equivalent available for all provider focused offerings hosted by the STEP LC

In addition, if you are a provider who treats young individuals, we encourage to participate in our provider training sessions. Our upcoming session will be on the topic of pharmacotherapy for recent-onset Schizophrenia. To clarify, these trainings are specific to providers. However, all are free to join and learn.

July 11th   –Pharmacotherapy for Recent-Onset Schizophrenia – Vinod Srihari, MD 

*Schedule subject to change. 1 Free Yale CME/Equivalent available for all provider focused offerings hosted by the STEP LC

Secondly, July 1st Red Rock Branding will be presenting a poster on the Mindmap campaign in Baltimore, MD at Academy Health’s Annual Research Meeting. The poster will feature research from the first 4 years of the Mindmap campaign. This research shows that a public education campaign can contribute to reducing the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP).