Early treatment program


The early treatment program (ETP) at Zucker Hillside Hospital provides targeted, state-of-the-art care for adolescents and young adults in the early phases of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The ETP is modeled after the National Institute of Mental Health’s early psychosis initiative and works in collaboration with OnTrackNY, a unique early psychosis intervention program developed by the New York state office of mental health.
Early signs and symptoms of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder may include:

  • Suspiciousness
  • Odd behavior
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Difficulties at work or school
  • Lack of spontaneity
  • Distractibility
  • Hearing or seeing things that are not there
  • Poor judgment
  • Unusual thoughts
  • Not eating or sleeping normally
  • Prolonged periods of feeling “high” or overly happy/outgoing
  • Extreme irritability, agitation, feeling “jumpy” or “wired”
  • Risky behavior – such as spending sprees, impulsive sex or hasty business investments

When should I contact the ETP for myself or a loved one?
If you have concerns about early signs and symptoms of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or if the day-to-day life of you or a loved one is being affected, take this quiz and learn more about getting help. You can reach the ETP by calling (718) 470-8888 or by email.
Why is early treatment important?
Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder usually begin in the late teens or early adulthood. This can be a particularly frightening and confusing time for newly diagnosed individuals and their families. It’s crucial to make the right treatment choices at this initial stage to increase the likelihood of recovery. This is why we created the ETP, to put the spotlight on rapid, focused and developmentally appropriate treatment options for young adults as the key to resuming active and fulfilling lives.
Available Services and Treatment Strategies
We offer complete diagnostic evaluations and assessments, including:

  • Evaluation by an expert team
  • Sophisticated neurocognitive testing
  • Brain imaging
  • Thorough neuromedical assessment
  • Genetic testing to help identify the best and safest treatment

After evaluation and assessment are completed, the staff will create an individualized treatment strategy and intervention program, which can include:

  • Comprehensive education about the illness and its treatment
  • A personal recovery coach for managing stress, solving problems and achieving goals
  • Shared decision-making that involves input from patients and their loved ones
  • Assistance with returning to school/work
  • Coordination with other mental health professionals
  • Diet and healthy lifestyle instruction
  • Substance abuse counseling/referral
  • Advanced medication management
  • Individual, group and family therapy
  • Technological resources to assist in disease management: computers, smartphones and two-way video
  • Opportunities to participate in different research projects
  • Computerized cognitive remediation training