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FIRST Early Identification and Treatment of Psychosis

The early identification and treatment of psychosis can lead to:

  • Preventing increasing severity of the illness
  • Less physical, mental, psychological, social and occupational disability
  • Reduced family disruption and distress
  • Reduced need for inpatient care

The Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeST) Center and its partners have established outpatient early identification and treatment of psychotic illness programs, each of which is called FIRST, throughout Ohio. FIRST programs are committed to:

  • rapid access to services;
  • helping people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders set and achieve goals for the future; and
  • involving loved ones in the recovery process. 

Early outcomes for individuals participating in FIRST programs are promising: the majority of individuals in the FIRST programs are either working and/or pursuing educational goals full-time or part-time and the re-hospitalization rate is low. 

FIRST Treatment Services

FIRST treatment services include psychiatric care, individual counseling, family psychoeducation, supported employment/education and case management that are provided in an integrated manner by a six-person team. 

Many people who show early warning signs for psychotic illness may delay seeking treatment. These individuals can benefit from clinicians, loved ones and supportive others encouraging them to seek FIRST treatment. To make a referral, please call the FIRST team leader in the county/area where the individual resides (please see list below). The team leader will make an assessment and discuss treatment options with the individual. 

While each person will be considered for FIRST treatment services on an individual basis, FIRST is most appropriate for individuals who individuals who meet the following criteria. 

Ohio FIRST Programs 

FIRST Cuyahoga County

Team leader: 216.339.1438

Treatment services location: Catholic Charities Counseling Services, 1515 West 29th, Cleveland, Ohio, 44113

Partners: CatholicCharities Diocese of Cleveland, the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental HealthServices Board of Cuyahoga County and the BeST Center

FIRST Greater Cincinnati Area

Team leader: 513.354.7337

Treatment services locations:

Hamilton County: Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services, 7162 Reading Rd., Suite 400,Cincinnati, Ohio 45237

Clermont County: Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services, 1074 Wasserman Way, Batavia, Ohio  45103

Partners: Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services and the BeST Center 

FIRST Greater Lima

Team leader: 330.541.8543

Treatment services location: Coleman Professional Services, 799 South Main St., Lima, Ohio 45804

Partners: Coleman Professional Services, Mental Health and Recovery Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties and the BeST Center

FIRST Lorain County

Team leader: 440.204.4200

Treatment services location: The Nord Center, 6140 South Broadway, Lorain, Ohio 44053

Partners: The Nord Center, Lorain County Board of Mental Health and the BeST Center

FIRST Lucas  and Wood Counties

Team leader: 419.764.2773

Treatment services locations:

Lucas County

Zepf Center Central Community Support, Medical and Vocational Services, 6605 W. Central Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43617 and

Zepf Center Nebraska Medical, Child and Adolescent Services, 905 Nebraska Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43607

Wood County 

COMPASS, A division of the Zepf Center
541 W. Wooster Street, 3rd floor
Bowling Green, Ohio 43402

Partners: Zepf Center, Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County, The University of Toledo Medical Center and the BeST Center

FIRST Mahoning County

Team leader:  234.201.2512

Treatment services location: Turning Point Counseling Services, 611 Belmont Ave., Youngstown, Ohio 44502

Partners: Turning Point Counseling Services, COMPASS Family & Community Services, Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board and the BeST Center

FIRST Portage County

Team leader: 330.676.6859

Treatment services location: Coleman Professional Services - Portage County Offices, 5982 Rhodes Road, Kent, Ohio, 44240

Partners: Coleman Professional Services, Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County and the BeST Center

FIRST Stark County

Team leader: 330.541.1877

Treatment services location: Coleman Professional Services, 400 Tuscarawas St., West, Suite 200, Canton, Ohio 44702

Partners: Coleman Professional Services, the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Stark County and the BeST Center

FIRST Summit County

Team leader: 234.788.1646

Treatment services location: Child Guidance & Family Solutions, 18 North Forge St., Akron, Ohio 

Partners: Child Guidance & Family Solutions, Community Support Services, Inc., County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board and the BeST Center

FIRST Trumbull County

Team leader: 330.541.1732

Treatment services location: Coleman Professional Services, 552 North Park Ave., Warren, Ohio 44481

Partners: Coleman Professional Services, COMPASS Family & Community Services, Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board and the BeST Center