Message from the Clinical Director

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Jessica Pollard, PhD
Assistant Professor, Yale School of Medicine

So much has happened since we opened our doors in 2006 when I was a post-doctoral fellow at STEP! I am proud of the progress we have made, how we have learned from challenges, the professionals we have trained, and, most of all, the high quality, effective care we have provided over the years. Our patients and their families have taught us much, for which we are enormously grateful. Incorporating what we have learned from our research and from our patients and families into the services we provide is essential in keeping our program both compassionate and evidence based.

We are fortunate to have many successes to celebrate at STEP: research documenting the effectiveness of our model of care, trainees who have gone on to be leaders in their fields and champions of early intervention, and funding from the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addictions Services (DMHAS) to expand our staff and services. Above all, we have the privilege of seeing time and time again how individuals in our care undertake their own varied and successful pathways towards their personal goals.

Unfortunately, many myths and misunderstandings still exist regarding Schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses. There is often confusion about how to obtain treatment and what treatment entails, fears regarding stigma and inaccurate ideas about mental illness, and lack of awareness about the critical importance of early intervention. Delays in accessing appropriate help makes recovery more difficult. One of the main goals of STEP is to reduce or eliminate the barriers preventing people from getting into treatment right away when the troubles of psychosis begin. The best treatment programs in the world can only help if we get people in the door.

Please join us in our mission of early detection and intervention. You may be an early identifier and make all the difference in the life of a young person, or you may make the choice to seek treatment yourself and prevent your illness from becoming disabling.

In service of our mission, we strive to provide education regarding psychotic disorders and their treatment. Whether you are a person struggling with symptoms, a family member of someone diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, a colleague, or a trainee, we hope you find the information you are looking for here. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like further information about our program, research, training opportunities, or to arrange a presentation.

Thank you for visiting our website and for your interest in STEP.