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James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

September 05, 2019

New York State Expands Early Intervention Service for Young Adults with Schizophrenia

OnTrackNY Awarded $5 Million in New Federal Funding to Add 2 New Team Sites

Albany, NY- The Office of Mental Health today announced an expansion of the state-run program that helps young adults with newly emerging psychotic symptoms.

OnTrackNY provides young adults with innovative, team-based psychiatric treatment, employment and educational services, as well as family education and support at locations throughout New York State. New York State has received a $4.9 million federal grant to fund 2 new OnTrackNY teams downstate.

“The OnTrackNY program has been resoundingly successful, helping more than 1,600 New Yorkers experiencing the first symptoms of schizophrenia develop resilience, goals and a plan for moving their lives forward,” said OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “We are thankful to be able to expand this evidence-based, patient-centered program to enable a successful life trajectory for so many young adults.”

The New York State Psychiatric Institute, which runs the OnTrackNY program, was one of 15 awardees of the five-year SAMHSA Healthy Transitions grant. The funding will add a new OnTrackNY team in Queens at the Child Center of NY and another in northern Westchester at Westchester Jewish Community Services. Each team will serve 40 youth at any given time. With the additional teams, New York will have 23 operating teams, serving an estimated 900 youth at a time.

It is estimated that nearly 3,000 New York residents develop schizophrenia each year, which if left untreated may lead to a number of significant issues, including problems at school and work, strained family relations, and estrangement from friends. Untreated schizophrenia can lead to problems such as homelessness, incarceration, and substance abuse, the probability of which increases the longer the psychosis goes untreated. Oftentimes, untreated schizophrenia leads to disability, which exacts painful human costs upon the individuals and their families, as well as substantial financial costs to individuals, families, and the healthcare and social service systems. 

“We are excited to be able to partner with two terrific programs and provide OnTrackNY services at these two new sites,” said OnTrackNY Director Dr. Lisa Dixon. “We are getting closer to our goal of serving all New Yorkers who need this program’s effective, evidence-based services.”

Started in 2013, the OnTrackNY program provides an innovative, evidence-based, team approach to providing recovery-oriented treatment to young people who have recently begun experiencing psychotic symptoms. OnTrackNY helps young adults with newly emerged psychotic disorders achieve their goals for school, work, and social relationships. This program follows principles of care which include shared decision making, youth friendly and welcoming environments, and connection with flexible and accessible mental health services.

After just a year of enrollment in the program, the rate of participant engagement in school jumps to 72%, compared to just 41% school engagement at the time of enrollment 

When it comes to hospitalizations, 74% of participants have been hospitalized in the 3 months prior to enrollment in the OnTrackNY program. This drops to 10% per quarter following enrollment. 

OnTrackNY is funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health and the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Learn more at www.ontrackny.org


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