EASA

Early Assessment & Support Alliance


Columbia Community Mental Health (CCMH) is partnered with the Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA) to provide rapid, effective support to young people who develop the symptoms of psychosis. EASA is the first statewide effort in the United States to provide systematic early psychosis interventions for adolescents and young adults.
 

The EASA team at CCMH works closely with family members and others who are supportive of the individual to help them succeed. EASA is a transitional program, serving people for approximately two years. EASA provides rapid, effective support to young people who develop the symptoms of psychosis so they can:

  • Complete school,
  • Enter rewarding careers and adult roles,
  • Live in a healthy and safe environment, and
  • Experience social support, health and well-being.


The EASA team does so by being able to:

  • Identify people who are experiencing psychosis as early as possible;
  • Establish a trusting relationship based on respect and genuine belief in the person’s ability;
  • Provide a comprehensive and accurate assessment of the person’s medical condition, strengths, goals and needs;
  • Stabilize the person’s symptoms and living situation;
  • Preserve the person’s family and informal support;
  • Help the person and family develop the skills, knowledge and social support needed to be successful in managing the condition in the long-run;
  • Successfully transition young people to ongoing supports and services in the community
 
 

Who do we serve?

  • Ages 15-25
  • Lives in Columbia County
  • Experiencing symptoms lasting no longer than 12 months
  • Not already receiving treatment for psychosis
  • Symptoms not known to be caused by a medical condition or drug use
 

Services provided regardless of ability to pay:

  • Multi-Family Group Therapy
  • Medication Management
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Educational & Vocational Support
 

Benefits of Early Intervention:

  • More rapid recovery and better prognosis
  • Reduced secondary problems (such as depression and isolation) and work/school disruption
  • Retention of social skills and support
  • Decreased need for hospitalization
  • Reduced family disruption and distress
  • Less treatment resistance and lower risk of relapse

Possible Signs of Psychosis


Reduced performance

  • Trouble reading or understanding complex sentences
  • Trouble speaking or understanding what others are saying
  • Becoming easily confused or lost
  • Trouble in sports or other activities that used to be easy (Example: can’t dribble basketball or pass to team members)
  • Attendance problems related to sleep or fearfulness

    Behavior changes

    • Extreme fear for no apparent reason
    • Uncharacteristic actions or statements that make no sense
    • Impulsive and reckless behavior (giving away all belongings, etc.)
    • New, bizarre beliefs
    • Incoherent or bizarre writing
    • Extreme social withdrawal
    • Decline in appearance and hygiene
    • Dramatic change in sleep (sleeping rarely or all the time)
    • Dramatic changes in eating behavior

    Perceptual changes

    • Fear that others are trying to hurt them
    • Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch
    • Making statements like “my brain is playing tricks on me”
    • Hearing voices or other sounds that others don’t
    • Reporting visual changes (colors more intense, faces distorted, lines turned wavy)
    • Racing thoughts
    • Feeling like someone else is putting thoughts into their brain or that others are reading their thoughts

    For more information please contact your CCMH EASA Provider:

    Karissa Reed, QMHP
    (503) 397-5211 ext 282


    To learn more about the EASA program, please visit the EASA website