What is FIRST.IL?

  • A comprehensive, team-based treatment program aimed at improving the mental health and quality of life for individuals who have experienced a first episode of a psychotic illness
    • promotes early identification
    • provides best treatment practices as soon as possible
  • A partnership of Community Mental Health Agencies

  • Advocate Behavioral Health Services

938 W. Nelson Ave

Chicago, IL 60657

(773) 892-8135

  • Bridgeway

2323 Windish Dr.

Galesburg, IL 61401

(309) 344-4204

  • Centerstone

200 North Emerald Lane

Carbondale, IL 62901

(618) 713-1394

  • Chestnut Health Systems

50 Northgate Industrial Drive

Granite City, IL 62040

(618) 314-5561

  • Grand Prairie Services (2 Locations)

19530 S. Kedzie 19400 North Creek Drive

Flossmoor, IL 60422 Lynwood, IL 60411

(630) 333-5217 (708) 985-3040

  • Human Resources Development Institute, Inc (HRDI)

340 E. 51st St.

Chicago, IL 60615

(866) 734-1266

  • LifeLinks

750 Broadway Ave East

Mattoon, IL 61938

(217) 259-1237

* Memorial Behavioral Health

5220 S. 6th St Rd.

Springfield, IL 62703

(217) 588-7928

* Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health

2200 3rd Avenue

Rock Island, IL 61201

(309) 737-2489

* Thresholds (2 Locations)

4101 N. Ravenswood Ave 777 Oakmont Ln

Chicago, IL Westmont, IL

(773) 432-6555

* Trilogy Inc

3737 W. Lawrence Ave.

Chicago, IL 60625

(773) 564-4725

  • IDHS Division of Mental Health
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeST) Center at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED)

FIRST.IL Program Treatment Goals

  • To reduce the symptoms of psychotic illnesses
  • To improve individual and family functioning
  • To reduce the chance of relapse
  • To promote recovery and improve the long-term course of the illness
  • To decrease the overall costs of treatment

FIRST.IL treatment is a manualized team-based approach:

  • Psychiatric Care
    • Focuses on providing medications and interventions
    • Emphasis on shared decision-making
  • Individual Resiliency Training
    • Helps clients gain insight into their illness and develop tools for coping
    • Focuses on strengthening problem-solving abilities
  • Supported Employment/ Education
    • Focuses on rapid return to or initiation of employment or education
    • Takes place at community sites
    • Is driven by clients' needs and preferences
  • Family Psychoeducation
    • Provides education about psychotic illnesses and assists families with problem-solving and communications
  • Case Management
    • Assists with coordination of medical and mental health care
    • Educates clients on community resources and assists with integration into the community
    • Provides feedback to the psychiatrist regarding clients' medication adherence, side effects or symptoms
    • Provides crisis management as needed

**The duration for FIRST.IL is typically three to five years, depending on client's needs and preferences.

FIRST.IL Treatment is Appropriate for individuals:

  • between 14-40 years of age
  • diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder or other specified/unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder;
  • experiencing no more than 18 months of psychotic symptoms, whether treated or untreated;
  • And willing to consent to participate in at least two of the five treatment modalities

FIRST.IL is not appropriate for individuals:

  • with psychotic symptoms that are known to be caused by the temporary effects of substance abuse or another medical condition
  • with an intellectual disability that impairs their ability to understand all of the treatment components

** If the treatment team does not feel that FIRST.IL is the most appropriate treatment resource for an individual, he or she will be referred to other community resources

FIRST.IL Enrollment Process

  • Assessment: All calls to the dedicated FIRST telephone number are returned within 24 hours
  • Team Leader completes a phone screening and, if appropriate, an intake assessment
  • If FIRST.IL treatment is appropriate, appointment with team psychiatrist is expedited
    • Team psychiatrist makes final decision

** All clients who do not meet criteria are referred to the most appropriate resource.