Jessica M Pollard PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Clinical Director, STEP

Biographical Info

Jessica Pollard, PhD is a licensed psychologist, Clinical Director of the Specialized Treatment Early in Psychosis (STEP) Clinic and Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. Her role in the STEP Clinic is to develop and oversee treatment services, supervise clinical staff and trainees, provide community and professional outreach, and conduct research. Dr. Pollard is responsible for screening and triage of referrals and current STEP patients as well as developing referral networks. She has a background in early psychosis treatment and research, having completed a two year fellowship at the Yale where she helped start STEP, founding and directing the multidisciplinary Aware Program team in assessment, treatment, and research of those at ultra-high risk for psychosis (UHR) and in the early stages of psychotic illnesses (first episode psychosis) at The Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine and then opened the Aware Center for Early Intervention as a private clinic in the Bangor community. Dr. Pollard is a member of the International Early Psychosis Association and the American Public Health Association and has published and presented on early psychosis in peer reviewed journals and scientific conferences. She has been the Principal Investigator on grants from SAMHSA, Bingham Program, and JTG Foundation.

Dr. Pollard earned her B.A. at the University of Maine at Farmington, originally intending to be a special education teacher but ultimately getting drawn in to psychology and biology. She double majored in Psychology and an interdisciplinary major of her own construction involving biology and music. After graduating Cum Laude, Dr. Pollard attended the University of Connecticut Clinical Psychology PhD program, earning her masters and doctoral degrees there. Her thesis and dissertation were both on the relationship between perceived coercion and mental health treatment outcomes. During graduate school, Dr. Pollard trained with Linda Frisman, PhD, director of research for the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, on policy and services research. She became involved in the American Public Health Association (APHA), serving as Deputy Program Chair for Mental Health in 2008 and Program Chair for Mental Health in 2009. Dr. Pollard is the recipient of the 2009 APHA Mental Health Section Award for excellence in the field of public mental health.

Education & Training

University of Maine (2001)
University of Connecticut (2006)

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