Dr. Leopoldo J. Cabassa, associate professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, is part of a team that has received a five-year, $2.9 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to study interventions for people suffering from mental health issues in Chile.
“This project is a multidisciplinary collaboration and partnership that aims to improve the quality of care and outcome for people and families with first episode psychosis in Chile,” Cabassa said. “I’m bringing my expertise and experiences in implementation science and health disparities research to this global mental health study.”
First episode psychosis (FEP) refers to the first time someone experiences psychotic symptoms or a psychotic episode. The symptoms can be highly disturbing and unfamiliar, leaving the person and their family members confused and distressed.
The overarching goal of the grant is to address the shortfall in evidence-based practices for FEP in Chile by adapting for Chile OnTrackNY, a coordinated specialty care program for FEP currently being implemented across the United States.The adapted program will then be implemented and evaluated on a wide scale in Chile.
Dr. Cabassa is part of a four-member, principal investigator team led by Dr. Rubén Alvarado from the Universidad de O’Higgings in Chile that also includes Dr.Ezra S. Susser from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health; and Dr. Lisa Dixon from the New York State Psychiatric Institute, the developer and director of OnTrackNY.