First Episode Psychosis (FEP)

First.IL Flyer (pdf)

What is FIRST.IL?

FIRST.IL is a specialized treatment approach that helps individuals who are between the ages of 14 to 40 and who have had a treated or untreated psychotic illness for no more than 18 months. Eligible diagnoses are schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder or other specified/unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder with psychotic features, major depressive disorder with psychotic features and PTSD with dissociative symptoms.

  • Heritage Behavioral Health Center-Macon County
    151 North Main
    Decatur, IL 62523
    Direct Line: (217) 420-4840
    Main Line: (217) 362-6262
    www.heritagenet.org
  • Human Resources Development Institute, Inc (HRDI)
    340 E. 51st St.
    Chicago, IL 60615
    (866) 734-1266
    www.hrdi.org
  • Human Service Center
    228 NE Jefferson
    Peoria, IL 61654-1346
    309-282-1351
    www.hscpeoria.org
  • Iroquois Mental Health (2 Locations)
    Location#1:
    323 W. Mulberry St.
    P.O. BOX 322 Watseka, IL 60970
    (815) 432-5241 
    Location#2:
    26711 Egyptian Trail Suite B
    Monee, IL 60449
    (815) 432-5241
  • LifeLinks (2 Locations)
    Location#1:
    750 Broadway Ave East
    Mattoon, IL 61938
    (217) 259-1237
    Location#2:
    1817 S. Neil St. Suite 104
    Champaign, IL 61820
    (217) 259-5753
    www.lifelinksinc.org
  • Memorial Behavioral Health
    710 North Eighth St.
    Springfield, IL 62702
    (217) 588-7928
    www.memorialbehavioralhealth.org

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
  • Recovery Support

    • Assistance in gaining greater independence
    • Linking to community resources
    • Help navigating systems
    • Help accessing and acquiring services
    • Assistance with educational goals
  • 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, bipolar disorder with psychotic features, major depressive disorder with psychotic features and PTSD with dissociative symptoms.
  • 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.