A Bold Approach To Early Psychosis Intervention

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Early intervention is critical to improving life outcomes for youth experiencing psychosis, and The Brookline Center’s CEDAR (Center for Early Detection, Assessment and Response to Risk) Clinic is one of only three programs in Massachusetts that provides care when young people are just beginning to exhibit signs and symptoms. 

CEDAR works with youth and their families to mitigate the severity of illness and, in many cases, change its trajectory. Patients receive coordinated specialty care and can access a range of services, from individual and family therapy, to coaching for school and work. Investing in comprehensive, personalized services significantly enhances care. “It matters, and it’s worth it,” says The Brookline Center’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jessica Stern. CEDAR’s team of clinicians works together closely to meet each patient’s unique needs. “We invest significant time communicating and collaborating, making sure our interventions are coordinated,” says Clinical Director Amanda Weber, Ph.D. 

Eligibility is an area where CEDAR truly stands apart. “We lean into The Brookline Center’s community mental health values around access and equity to care for as many young people as we can,” says Dr. Weber. Most programs for this population of youth are based at academic medical centers, are research study-based, and consequently have strict eligibility requirements. At CEDAR, patients are never turned away because they don’t meet exclusive criteria around age, diagnosis, and stage of illness. 

Brookline Center supporters have played a huge role in helping CEDAR grow. At the Center’s Kids’ Fund Gala in June, 20-year-old Preston Khoury shared that his “experience at CEDAR was different from every previous doctor’s visit over two years. For the first time, I felt a sense of hope that maybe I could get better.” To a standing ovation, Preston added, “There are so many teens like me and so many parents like mine, desperately searching for answers. I can guarantee you that your support will change lives; my life today is proof of the extraordinary impact you can make.”