KTTU "In Focus," 2/13/11, 10:30 AM & KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," 2/20/11, 7:30 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Nicholas Breitborde, Ph.D., Director, EPICENTER at UPH, a new treatment and research program that provides specialized, phase-specific treatment for persons early in the course of a psychotic illness. There was a lot of discussion about mental illness in the days following the January 8 shootings of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others once information about the suspect emerged. 

Dr. Breitborde says the mission of the Center is to shorten the period of untreated psychosis and reduce the impact of mental illness through early symptom alleviation and reintegration back into the community.  He says “psychosis” could involve schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and other issues.  He says symptoms include hallucinations, hearing voices, paranoia, odd behavior and delusions.  He says anyone with the symptoms is welcome at the Center, even if they have no insurance.  He says most patients will already have contact with a psychiatrist or doctor prior to coming to the Center.  He says the Center’s services include group therapy, family education and multi-family group psycho-education.

Breitborde says the typical time between most psychotic symptoms and the receipt of appropriate care is about 2 years.  But, he says, as with most illnesses, early treatment generally leads to better outcomes.   He says the longer the illness goes untreated, the greater disruption to a patient’s ability to live a functional life.  He says EPICENTER is but one of a handful of its kind in the U.S. and is the only one in Arizona.