May 5, 2014 The National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council) is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and substance use treatment organizations. Together with our 2,000 + member organizations employing 750,000 staff, we serve our nation’s most vulnerable citizens — more than 8 million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. We are committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life.

The National Council pioneered Mental Health First Aid in the U.S. and has trained approximately 150,000 individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and addictions care in their communities. A not-for-profit 501(c)(3) association, the National Council for Behavioral Health’s mission is to advance our members’ ability to deliver integrated healthcare.

The National Council Awards of Excellence — comprising the Inspiring Hope, Advocacy Leadership, and Impact awards — honor the achievements of individuals with mental illness and addiction disorders; the clinicians and treatment teams that care for them; the advocates and leaders who tell their stories to educate and encourage community support; and the organizations that promote excellence and build healthy communities.

The Inspiring Hope Awards recognize the achievements of those who have succeeded at living well with a serious mental illness, as well as the exceptional advocates and clinicians who change lives and positively impact those whom they interact with every day, supporting recovery, inspiring home, and building healthy communities.

The Science to Service Award that Felton Institute won for our PREP program recognizes a behavioral health organization that is committed to innovation and has translated new research into practice to provide better care for persons with mental illness and improve treatment outcomes, who are innovative and transformative in bring improved care to persons with mental illness that translates into better care.

The PREP program is an evidence-based, data-driven approach to schizophrenia treatment that is transforming the lives of young people in Northern California. Services are provided by multidisciplinary teams including therapists, a psychiatrist, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a family partner, a case advocate, and an education and vocational specialist. Every element of the PREP approach is provided in English and Spanish. The average course of treatment is one year, of which the first six months represent engagement and intensive treatment, the next six months are primarily aftercare, medication monitoring, and transition to mainstream services. Some clients will extend their course of low-intensity service for as much as another year, depending on need. Preliminary results indicate that the PREP approach can make recovery a sustainable reality for most individuals with schizophrenia when intervention occurs early, representing a dramatic change in the lives of individuals with early psychosis.

PREP delivers comprehensive treatment grounded in wellness, recovery, and resilience to people experiencing symptoms of psychosis, as well as their families. Our vision is to transform the treatment and perception of psychosis – and by extension the lives of young people and their families – by intervening early with evidence-based, culturally competent assessment and diagnosis so that within five years of entering treatment most cases of psychosis are treated to remission. This vision is in stark contrast to Treatment as Usual, where clients are typically overmedicated and lurch from crisis to crisis year on year, served by treatment teams that assume consumers will spend a lifetime on public benefits. We begin with extensive outreach and community education in each community to combat the stigma associated with mental illness with a message of hope to increase the probability that individuals with early signs of psychosis will seek help.

What makes PREP unique the integrated suite of evidence based practices that our community based treatment teams provide to fidelity and our use of Circe case management and outcome tracking software to measure results on a day to day basis. Each evidence-based practice has independently achieved proven results for patients with early psychosis. PREP is the only program that provides these practices all together under one treatment team, leveraging their effectiveness to achieve dramatically improved outcomes.