Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA)
What is EASA?
Multnomah Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA) is a two year outreach and treatment program for young people ages 15 to 25 who reside in Multnomah County, who have experienced a first episode of psychosis within the last year and whose symptoms are not caused by a medical condition or substance abuse.
EASA was formed in Oregon in 2001 as the Early Assessment and Support Team (EAST) in the Salem area. In 2008 the model was expanded to Multnomah and 15 other counties with grant funding from the Department of Human Services. Currently, Multnomah EASA partners with the larger EASA network in Oregon, located at easacommunity.org, to provide evidenced and community-based intensive outpatient service regardless of ability to pay.
The mission of EASA is to keep young people with the early signs of psychosis on their normal life paths, by:
- Building community awareness and
- Offering easily accessible, effective treatment and support through a network of educated community members & highly skilled clinicians using the most current evidence-based practices.
What causes psychosis?
There are many possible causes of psychosis, including: physical illness, drug use, trauma,
prolonged insomnia, high levels of stress and/or biological predisposition.
The EASA team works with individuals whose psychosis may be diagnosed as a schizophrenia related condition.Psychosis is most likely to first occur during young adulthood, and onset tends to be earlier for males (74% of EASA's clients are male).
Because every individual’s experience is different, the EASA team takes time to identify the possible causes of the psychosis based on an individualized assessment.
Psychosis can happen to anyone. It affects approximately 3 out of every 100 young
people and a full recovery is absolutely possible.
How can EASA help?
EASA's team of professionals--including medical professionals, mental health therapists and vocational and occupational therapists--offer:
- low-dose medication and medication monitoring
- individual and group counseling
- multi-family groups; ( Spanish language brochure)
- occupational therapy
- family education and support; ( Spanish language brochure)
- vocational training
- life-skills coaching
- 24/7 crisis services
- links to community resources
- education about psychosis
How can friends and family help?
- Don't feel guilty; you are not responsible for the illness.
- Remember to take care of yourself.
- Remember that you are not alone.
- Remember that the young person is still the same person you know and love.
- Talk to the EASA team about how to be a partner in the young person's recovery.
- Get support by attending the group meetings the EASA team offers. Check out the websites about psychosis for support and education.
- Follow these guidelines for families.
If you know a young person you believe may be showing early signs of psychosis, contact Multnomah EASA at (503) 988-3272.