The PRIME Research Clinic is specifically designed for persons, ages 12 to 40, who are experiencing worrisome changes in their thoughts, experiences, and/or feelings. These changes may indicate risk factors for serious mental illness. Risk factors include: suspiciousness, odd thinking or behavior, increased difficulty at work or school, withdrawal from loved ones, and changes in emotions.
To study the course of symptoms which are sometimes prodromal for psychosis and to prevent the development of frank psychosis and schizophrenia.
How PRIME Can Help
As with physical illnesses, the early identification and treatment of mental and emotional problems can lead to a better prognosis. The longer an illness is left untreated, the greater is the disruption to the person's ability to study, work, meet new friends, and socialize comfortably.
The PRIME Research Clinic aims to reduce early symptoms of serious mental illness. At PRIME, people have the opportunity to discuss their concerns and participate in research studies focusing on identifying, monitoring and managing troubling symptoms and at-risk signs of serious mental illness.
Comprehensive Services of the PRIME Clinic
- Free clinical evaluations and assessment
- Supportive counseling
- Follow-along monitoring
- Clinical treatment with medication, if eligible
- Neuropsychological testing
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evaluations
- Community education
- Free treatment
- Collaboration with community providers and schools
- Studies on Prediction and Prevention of Psychosis
- Diagnostic Evaluation
- Brain imaging (MRI, EEG)
- Cognitive Evaluation
Who is Eligible?
- Individuals diagnosed with a prodromal syndrome (ages 12-40)
- Healthy controls (ages 12-40)
Benefits of Early Intervention
The goal of early identification and intervention is to minimize a decline in functioning and maximize the return to a previous level of functioning. By identifying and treating the early signs of risk, it is hoped that mental illness may be delayed, prevented, or reduced in intensity.
The Child Welfare League of America recognized the PRIME Research Clinic of Yale University for its commitment to research of serious mental illness.
Our Executive Staff
- Scott W. Woods, MD, Director. With 30 years of experience and over 300 publications on the treatment and research of serious mental illness, Dr. Woods is a leader in the field of early intervention and also serves as a full professor at Yale.
- Barbara C. Walsh, PhD, Clinical Coordinator. Extensive experience in family, child, and adolescent therapy mark Dr. Walsh’s clinical training. Dr. Walsh oversees the clinical evaluation and treatment performed at PRIME.
- Thomas H. McGlashan, MD, Scientific Advisor. Dr. McGlashan is a pioneer in the early intervention of serious mental illness and one of the founders of the PRIME Clinic. With over 400 publications and as a full professor at Yale, we are privileged that he advises our researchers and clinicians.
Tandy Miller, PhD, Clinical Director, 1998-2005
SIPS: Structured Interview for Psychosis-risk Syndromes
The PRIME Clinic will conduct this evaluation free for persons aged 12 – 35. The evaluation can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. Persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. The evaluator will meet with the parent and child together for a short period to gather background information. Then the parent will step out while we conduct the bulk of the interview with the young person alone. At the end of the assessment we will give the results of the assessment to the parent and young person. Treatment options can be discussed at this time. It should be noted that this diagnostic evaluation is done for free whether or not a person wants treatment at the clinic.
The Structured Interview of Psychosis-risk Syndromes (SIPS) is a structured interview for diagnosing a clinical high risk (CHR) syndrome for psychosis and cases of first episode psychosis (McGlashan et al., 2010). It contains a severity rating scale (the Scale Of Psychosis-risk Symptoms, or SOPS), a well-anchored Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) (Hall, 1995), the DSM-IV schizotypal personality disorder checklist, a brief assessment of the family history of psychosis, and the Criteria Of Psychosis-risk Syndromes (COPS) and Presence Of Psychosis Scale (POPS) and DSM-5 Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome criterion sets.
The SIPS rules in or out the current and lifetime presence of psychosis and when psychosis has never been present diagnoses three CHR syndromes. The first and most common CHR syndrome is Attenuated Psychotic Symptom Syndrome (APSS). The full criteria are listed in the instrument, but succinctly it requires one or more subthreshold positive symptoms that have been present in the last month and have begun or worsened in the last year. This most common CHR syndrome is the one that maps onto DSM-s Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome. The second CHR syndrome, Brief Intermittent Psychosis Syndrome (BIPS) permits one or more symptoms at a psychotic intensity, but only intermittently and for a short span of time. The third syndrome, Genetic Risk and Deterioration (GRD), requires a family history of psychosis or a personal history of schizotypal personality disorder along with a 30% decline in the GAF over the past year. CHR syndrome subjects may meet criteria for one of the syndromes, any two, or all three. The criteria for these three syndromes are known as the COPS criteria (Criteria of Psychosis-risk Syndromes).
The three CHR syndromes are designed to predict the onset of psychosis as a broad construct, not only schizophrenic psychosis but also affective psychosis.
Certification training in the use of the SIPS/SOPS instruments is available through the PRIME Clinic. A trainer will come to your site and conduct the two-day training for professionals interested in early identification work. For further information on specifics of the training, costs for the training and availability, please contact Dr. Barbara C. Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 203-974-7052.
For more information about the clinic and our research programs, please call Dr. Barbara Walsh at 203-974-7052
Connecticut Mental Health Center B-38
34 Park Street
New Haven, CT 06519